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About Cyprus - Cyprus as a European Union Member State

“ Cyprus is being transformed into a key outpost in the eastern Mediterranean, serving as a bridge between the EU and the Middle East”

Since 1st of May 2004, Cyprus has become a European Union Member State. Cyprus has successfully faced the challenge of integration, and its accession to the European Union has not created any insurmountable difficulties; contrarily, necessary modifications were carefully planned and supported by the appropriate policies.

In particular, Cyprus has undergone through significant economic and structural reforms that have transformed its economic landscape. Tariffs and quantitative restrictions have been eliminated for all manufactured goods and agricultural products originating in Cyprus and other EU countries. Trade and interest rates have been liberalized, while price controls and investment restrictions have been lifted.

In addition, private financing has been introduced for the construction and operation of infrastructure projects; while, the monopoly in the telecommunications sector has been abolished.

Moreover, the Common Customs Tariff (CCT) as well as the relevant framework of the EU for the facilitation of the free movement of goods, capital, and services, has been adopted.

As a result of the liberalization and the accession to the EU, new business opportunities arise in various sectors:

  • As far as the energy sector is concerned, specific projects regarding offshore oil deposits and the importation of natural gas are promoted.
  • In the tourism sector, plans include the construction of new marinas, theme parks, football stadiums, the reconstruction of the island’s two international airports, and the reconstruction of the Larnaca port.
  • New investment opportunities arise through Cyprus’ high technology investment programme related to the establishment of Business Incubators and a Technology Park. Through these initiatives, Cyprus facilities the creation of new ventures, especially in high technology sectors.
  • Moreover, in the field of science and technology, cooperation agreements have been signed with the Albany State University of New York, the University of Southern California, and the Harvard University.
  • The already recognized role of Cyprus as a regional banking and shipping centre is even more enhanced.
  • Increased financial assistance from EU to Cyprus is available through structural funds, as well as through wider participation in European Programmes, such as the 6th Framework Programme.
  • Finally, Cypriot products and services have access to the vast EU market, with a total population of over 450 mln. And a current annual rate of growth of 2,1%; hence, broadening exports opportunities.

Upon membership to the European Union, Cyprus is being transformed into a key outpost in the eastern Mediterranean, serving as a bridge between the EU and the increasingly important market of the Middle East. The Geographical proximity of Cyprus to the Middle East represents a factor in creating partnerships between Europe and the Middle East; two different regions bound by mutual interests. The Middle East region with its oil-rich soil, coupled with the potentials that a wealthy market holds, provides excellent opportunities for European business. Similarly, the Middle East manufacturers and traders can gain easier access to the prosperous EU market via Cyprus.

Notably, more than half of all trade of Cyprus is with the EU. Cyprus also has diplomatic ties with countries that have established an embassy only in Cyprus in order to cover their interests in the Middle East and Europe.

As reported in the May 5, 2004 edition of The Wall Street Journal, “Cyprus offers a strategic location, favourable tax environment, educated work force, excellent telecommunications and modern banking and legal infrastructure which makes the country the perfect business bridge for the European Union and the Middle East.

Furthermore, Cyprus has gained a long reputation as the springboard for investment into central and Eastern Europe.

Cyprus offers a strategic location, favorable tax environment, educated work force, excellent telecommunications, modern banking and legal infrastructure which makes the country the perfect business bridge for the European Union and the Middle East.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
**** WEDNESDAY, MAY 5, 2004 ***