Cyprus: Doing business & staying in touch

Doing business in Cyprus

Cypriots prefer face-to-face meetings rather than business via telephone or in writing, which are regarded as too impersonal. Business dress is similar to most European conventions.

Office hours

Typical office hours are 0800-1300 and 1500-1800 (winter), and 0800-1300 and 1600-1900 (summer).

Economy

Figures released in November 2012 show that the Cypriot economy experienced negative growth of 2.3% in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the same quarter in 2011.  Inflation stands at 1.7%. The island’s economy has suffered since an explosion at the Evangelos Florakis Naval Base in July 2011, which is located next to Cyprus’s main electricity power station. It is listed as being the 7th largest non-nuclear explosions to have occurred in the world. The electricity station has had to be rebuilt, with the expected final cost to the island of around US$2.83 billion. 

Cyprus’s market economy is dominated by its service sector, which accounts for around four fifths of the economy. While tourism remains a mainstay of the Cypriot economy, the industry has also been affected by the recent global economic downturn. Tourist arrivals stood at nearly 2.4 million to December 2011 compared with 2.17 million to December 2010.

The Republic of Cyprus is a full member of the European Union, however negotiations are ongoing for membership to include the internationally unrecognised territory of north Cyprus. The area north of the Green Line depends heavily on tourism and the service industry to form the backbone of its economy and remains heavily reliant on the mainland Turkish economy for support.

Many of the upmarket hotels have conference facilities. Nicosia is a popular destination for budget-priced conferences and has modern facilities. Larnaca, Paphos and Limassol have a number of 5-star hotels with excellent conference and incentive facilities in what is very much a growing market. Advice can be obtained from the Cyprus Tourism Organisation.

GDP

US$24.9 billion (2011).

Main exports

Pharmaceuticals, potatoes, citrus fruits, cement and clothing.

Main imports

Consumer goods, raw materials, machinery, transport equipment and petroleum.

Main trading partners

Greece, UK, Germany, Italy and Israel.

Keeping in Touch in Cyprus

Telephone

Telecard or coin-operated public telephones are installed at various central locations in towns and villages. Call Direct (cheaper than ordinary collect calls) is available to most EU countries, as well as Australia, USA and Canada.

Mobile phone

Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good.

Internet

Internet cafes are located in the main towns and resorts.

Post

There are daily airmail services to all developed countries. Service within Europe takes three to four days, and four to five days to the US.

Post office hours

(District) Sep-Jun: Mon-Fri 0730-1330, Wed 1500-1730 and Sat 0900-1030; Jul-Aug: Mon-Fri 0730-1300 and Sat 0900-1030. Other post office opening hours: Mon-Fri 0730-1330, Thurs 1500-1800 at other times.

Media

The Cypriot media reflects the island's political divide with the south and the Turkish-controlled north operating their own press and broadcasters. The media on both sides of the divide are frequently critical of the authorities. Newspapers published in English include the Cyprus Mail, Cyprus Weekly and Cyprus Today (Turkish Cypriot). Most English newspapers are available.

State-run services compete with private TV and radio stations. The public Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC) operates TV channels RIK 1 and RIK 2, and Radio 1 (in Greek), Radio 2 (in English, Turkish and Armenian), and Radio 3 (in Greek) in the south. In northern Cyprus, Bayrak Radio-TV operates channels BRT 1 and BRT 2, and Bayrak Radio 1 (in Turkish) and Bayrak International (in English).

 

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