Cyprus is situated in the Eastern part of the mediterranean sea lying at the meeting point of Europe, Africa and Asia and close to the busy shipping and air routes linking Europe with the Arab world and the Far East. It has an area of 9251 sq. Khm (3572 sq. ml. ). The island is about 4 hours flying from London, 3 hours from Moscow, 1 hour from Cairo, 3 hours from Abu Dhabi and about 12 hours direct from New York.
The government sits in the capital Nicosia, which is situated roughly in the centre of the island and is the largest city. Limassol, the second largest city, is situated in the South and is the main commercial port of Cyprus and a booming tourist resort. Larnaca, in the South East of the island, has the island's second commercial port. Paphos in the South-West is a fast developing tourist location. Famagusta in the east and Kyrenia in the northern parts were once the main tourist resorts of Cyprus but after the Turkish invasion in 1974 they are both under the control of the Turkish army.
Cyprus has an eight thousand year old history. The first Greeks, the Achaeans, settled in Cyprus and Hellenised the island about four thousand years ago, introducing the Greek langage and establishing city-kingdoms.
The island has successively been invaded by Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, Lusigneans, Venetians, Turks and finally Turkey transferred administration of Cyprus to Great Britain in 1878. The island was a British colony till 1960.
In 1960, Cyprus was declared independent. However, in July 1974, Turkey invaded Cyprus again and till today occupies 37% of the most fertile part of the island. The international community condemns the invasion and occupation and called for the withdrawal of all foreign troops and settlers.
Currently the population of Cyprus is about 750,000 people (80% Greek Cypriots, 18% Turkish Cypriots, 2% Other Minorities).
The island has a pleasant and healthy climate with about 300 days of sunshine a year. Temperatures range between 10 to 35 degrees centigrade. The coldest month is January with minimum and maximum mean temperatures of 6C and 13C respectively. The hottest month is August with minimum and maximum means temperatures of 21C and 36C.
The constitution of Cyprus provides for a presidential system of government. The term of office is set for a five year period. The president appoints the Council of Ministers which is the main executive instrument of the Republic and they are responsible for the initiation of legislation and the administration of all matters that fall within the domain of their ministries. The House of Representatives is elected by separate elections every four years and has the legislative power in the island.
The strategic position of Cyprus makes the two international Airports, in Larnaca and Paphos, very busy. Especially during the summer the two airports handle a very large number of daily flights. There are 31 charter flight companies and 36 scheduled airlines flying to and from Cyprus. Both airports are well equipped and organised so that they can cope with the tourist traffic.
The telecommunication facilities found in Cyprus are amongst the best in the world. The island is connected with 98% of the telephones in the world. The aim of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CY.T.A.) is to establish Cyprus as the telecommunications centre in the region. For this reason they ensure that they employ the latest technologies and equipment available. CY.T.A. is a co-owner of the fibre optic cable from Singapore to Marseilles. Internet facilities are available with four internet providers having direct access to the world wide web.
A very extensive number of conference rooms are available in Cyprus providing the latest equipment and all modern facilities to make the conference a success. The Cyprus Conference Centre and all major hotels provide such rooms at reasonable rates.
The National Economy
The gross domestic product (GDP) of Cyprus is over US$14.5 billion. The contribution to the economy by the various sectors is as follows:
It is noticeable from the above statistics that the service industry, which includes the offshore business, shipping and tourism, contribute considerably to the economy. Therefore, one could conclude that being such a vital industry the government and the professionals in Cyprus will do everything possible to foster the good reputation of Cyprus and enhance the services available. The most recent annual inflation rate for 2000 was below 3% and it has been around 3% for the last 10 years. The per capital income exceeding US$14,500. Full employment is maintained for many years now and the unemployment has been below 3% during those years.
Cyprus enjoys a pleasant climate. The coldest month is January with a mean temperature ranging from 6EC to 13EC, while the hottest month is August with a mean temperature ranging from 21EC to 36EC. The island of Aphrodite enjoys 340 days of sunshine during the year. It combines wide sandy beaches and sea resorts for the summer with snow covered mountains during the winter. Cyprus history runs as far back as the 6th millennium B.C. Because of its strategic position the island was occupied and ruled by many of the great powers of the past. Although the conquerors did not affect the Greek character of the island the many tangible evidence that they left behind make today Cyprus an attractive place to see and live history. Apart from the archaeological places, there are many other attractive and picturesque places to see and many places where you can enjoy all kinds of sports. For the foreigner who is looking for a more permanent establishment in Cyprus there are plenty of properties available at reasonable prices. During the night Cyprus does not sleep. The large number and variety of restaurants, taverns, pubs, discos, and night clubs cater for a wide range of preferences and offer all kinds of in certificates for tax status on the basis of double tax treaty etc are issued on the same day. A self assessment system is applied and the companies are self assessed on the basis of the audited accounts.
Standard of living
Cyprus has a high standards of living compared with the middle east countries. Living conditions are vary pleasant and the annual per Capita income is well over U.S.$8.000 if other socioeconomic indicators are considered, such as infant mortality, life expectancy, housing conditions, air pollution, number of doctors, hospital beds, cars, televisions and telephones, one will definitely justify the high quality of life on the island.
CYPRUS is considered a "low tax" country unlike the other offshore centres around the world which are so called "tax heaven". Thus, Cyprus is free from any suspicion surrounding such countries
- Excellent telecommunication facilities and modern infrastructure
- Easy accessibility by air and sea
- Low cost of living
- Well educated, hospitable and competent Cypriot people
- Pleasant climate
The south coast town of Limassol is the island's largest seaside resort. Acting as a magnificent backdrop to the city - that spreads for ten miles along the coast-is the Troodos mountain range, it's fertile hillslopes an endless vineyard since most of the islands selective grapes are grown here. Limassol is the island's second largest town and the Heart of the wine producing industry. Due to it's harbor the town has an important position in the island's economy and it is the largest tourist center.
Concentrated on the eastern side of Limassol, all types of holiday accommodation have been build, close to the sea. These accommodation vary from luxurious hotels and apartments to spacious villas and houses. Limassol is an excellent center from which to plan excursions towards any direction, all over Cyprus. For further information about Cyprus, please access the Cyprus Tourism website at http://www.visitcyprus.org.cy/