About Cyprus

Location: Cyprus is situated in the eastern Mediterranean at the cross roads of three continents- Europe, Asia and Africa. It covers an area of 9251 It has a pleasant Mediterranean climate with dry, hot summers and mild winters.

Population: The population of Cyprus is about 1,155,403 according to the 2013 consensus.

Language: Greek, English and Turkish are the official languages. English is spoken by most of the population and is widely used in commercial and governmental sectors.

Political Structure: Cyprus became an independent republic in 1960. The structure of the government is similar to other western democracies where human rights, political freedom and private property are safe-guarded. Cyprus has a presidential system of government. The President is the head of State and is elected for a five year term. Executive power is in the hands of the Council of Ministers, the members of which are appointed by the President. The House of Representatives is the islands legislative body and it consists of 56 elected members who serve a five-year term. The legal system is based in English law. Cyprus is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the Council of Europe.

Accession to the European Union: Cyprus became a full member of the European Union on 1st May 2004.

Economy and Infrastructure: The island has excellent telecommunications, air and port connections. There are two international airports in Larnaca and Paphos whereas the major port facilities are those of Limassol and Larnaca. Cyprus is a free-enterprise economy with the government’s role being limited to regulation, supervision, planning and the provision of public utilities. Excellent banking facilities are also available with a number of onshore banks, offshore banking units and specialised financial institutions operating on the island. International correspondent networks are maintained by onshore and offshore banks.

Fiscal Advantages: Under the current tax legislation, Cyprus has one of the lowest tax regimes in Europe and its role as an international financial centre is greatly enhanced.  Cyprus clearly stands as a prestigious tax – incentive EU country and is free from suspicions usually associated with “tax havens” which have zero tax.

Legal System: The Cyprus legal system is fundamentally based on its English Law and practice which Cyprus inherited from the UK as a result of the British Colonial rule of Cyprus through to 1960.English case law is closely followed and all statutes regulating business matters as procedures are based essentially on English laws. A major difference between the English and the Cyprus legal system is that under the law, there is a written Constitution which aside European Law is the Supreme Law of State. The accession of Cyprus into the  European Union has brought about changes in legislation and Cyprus is now in full conformity with “Acquis Communautaire”. The Supreme Court, which pronounces final judgement on administrative law matters, follows the French “Droit Adminintratif” principles. More importantly, the Republic is a signatory and forms part of any international treaties and conventions, like the European Convention on Human Rights.

Currency: Since 1st January 2008, the Republic of Cyprus as a member of the European Monetary Union, introduced the Euro as its official currency, replacing the Cyprus Pound (£1CYP = 0.575284 EURO).