Cyprus, the mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, at the crossroads of three continents, Europe, Africa and Asia. The island is very rich in history; going back to the Mycenaean Greeks around the end of the second millennium B.C., later becoming part of many of the empires known in history, such as the Assyrian, the Persian, the Roman and Byzantine Empires, the Ottoman Empire, and lastly under the British rule. Cyprus gained its independence from Great Britain in 1960, during the period known as “decolonisation”, and it became a de jure state with Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom guaranteeing by a Treaty its security, stability and sovereignty.
The 1974 invasion had as an effect (one of many) the occupation of about 37% of the island (the northern part of the island), and its physical separation. Cyprus though rapidly recuperated and developed into a modern and flourishing part of the European Union (EU Member State since 2004 and Eurozone since 2008).
Economic growth in Cyprus has thrived during the last three decades, making the country a competitive and sturdy key player for both its European and Middle Eastern neighbours. Initially a touristic destination, being one of the most predominant places in the Mediterranean’s holiday map, Cyprus has managed, with its golden sandy beaches, especially on the south east coast of the island, along with the blue crystal-clear waters, the rocky mountains with the traditional small villages and the perfect, all year round sunny climate, to attract tourists from all over the world.
Cyprus nevertheless is not only a heaven for tourists. The quality of life is one of the highest in Europe as the residents enjoy a very safe, healthy and clean environment, as well as the wonderful weather that Cyprus has to offer. The human factor and the high quality of services is one of the main reasons, in addition to the above that has promoted the economic growth of Cyprus.
The island offers a very competitive, talented and expertise professional services sector in Cyprus that investors are longing for. Cyprus is internationally acknowledged as an excellent center for professional services including legal, consulting, accounting, tax and auditing and many others. The tax system which is fully transparent and compliant with the EU, offers one of the lowest corporate (income) tax at the range of 12.5%, tax exemptions for new residents (VAT reduction on the purchase of the first property), dividend exemptions and no withholding, succession and inheritance tax, places Cyprus amongst the most sought destinations for investors. During the last fifteen years investment in Cyprus has flourished and developed and this emanates from the reasons given above, such as the excellent professional services system, the admission of Cyprus into the EU, the promising banking and financial sector, the excellent climate, the high quality of life and last but not least, its strategic position.
Cyprus has managed to advance and promote the attraction of investors in the island, especially originating from countries outside of the EU, by legislating the acquisition of the Cypriot citizenship and permanent residency. By implementing the two schemes that the Cyprus government has introduced, the attraction of investors seeking the acquisition of the citizenship and the immigration permit to reside in Cyprus, the country’s financial development has risen and is thriving, promising in placing the island in one of the most ideal investment destinations in the region.