Cyprus lies in the eastern Mediterranean, lying at the hub of 3 continents and close to the busy trade routes linking Western Europe with the Arab World and the Far East.
The structure of Government is similar to other western democracies where human rights, political pluralism and private property are safeguarded. There is a multi-party system of democracy based on proportional representation.
The legal system is based on the same principles as those applicable in the United Kingdom and all statutes regulating business matters and procedures are based essentially onst expatriates. The Continental system of administrative law, according to which the legality of administrative decisions can be judicially controlled, has been introduced and applied by virtue of the constitution.
On the 1st May 2004, Cyprus became a European Union Member State and the Euro was introduced as the official currency on 1st January 2008.
Furthermore, Cyprus is a member of the United Nations and its specialised agencies, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the British Commonwealth. The island is represented by full diplomatic missions in 39 countries and 9 major international organisations around the world.
Cyprus has an open free market economy. As a full member of the European Union, Cyprus is ready to meet successfully the challenge of being part of the enlarged European family. The island’s economy is characterised by robustness and macroeconomic stability, which is evidenced by the favourable evaluations and comments of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and other international organisations. In addition, Cyprus was ranked 28th in the United Nations Index of Human Development for 2007/2008.
In order to attract foreign investment and enhance economic prosperity in Cyprus, the Government has liberalised the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy for not only for EU Nationals. Administrative procedures have been simplified and no limitations apply in most sectors of the economy, e.g. the minimum level of investment and the foreigners’ participation percentage. Consequently, foreign companies now have the opportunity of investing and establishing business in Cyprus on equal terms with local investors; no distinction is being made between foreign and Cypriot companies.
As of 1/10/2004 all restrictions for direct foreign investments have been lifted in almost all sectors of the economy with equity participation of up to 100% in any Cypriot enterprise, without a minimum level of capital investment. Foreign investors can register a company directly with the Registrar of Companies, and obtain licences, if needed from the appropriate authority according to the nature of investment.
There are no exchange control regulations, hence residents and non-residents may hold and manage assets and liabilities in any foreign currency and in any foreign country, including freely convertible and transferable balances with banks on the island.
The benign investment climate, its strategic location, the reliable telecommunication system make Cyprus is an ideal location to carry on business. This is enhanced by its favourable tax regime (having the lowest tax in EU and a wide range of Double Tax Treaties and Tax Free dividends income) allowing investors to register companies in Cyprus while operating abroad and benefit the lowest corporate tax in Europe which is 10%.