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Cyprus: Doing business and 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. Punctuality is important in Cyprus. Business dress is formal and 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

The Republic of Cyprus experienced a financial crisis from 2012-2013 which resulted in a European bailout and the closure for the Cyprus Popular Bank. Since 2017, Cyprus has implemented tough austerity measures as a means of facilitating a restructure of its economy and a return to the international market. Cypriot banks have stabilized since the 2013 bailout and GDP growth rates have now increased from -5.9% in 2013 to +3.9% in 2017. Cyprus’ last inflation rate in 2019 is near 2%. The unemployment rate in Cyprus as of 2018 is 8.2%, down from 14.9% in 2015.

Cyprus’ funds industry is growing and the country is expanding its professional services. It also has a successful maritime sector due to its large merchant fleet. Tourism is also still growing in Cyprus and accounted for 7.3% of its GDP in 2017. This is only expected to increase in coming years. New construction projects are also underway to expand luxury tourism in the Republic of Cyprus.

The Republic of Cyprus is a full member of the European Union as a de-facto divided island, 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$22.05 billion (2017).

Main exports

Pharmaceuticals, potatoes, citrus fruits, cement and clothing.

Main imports

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

Main trading partners

Greece, China, Netherlands, Libya, Norway, South Korea, 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. International calls can be made from public phones with the appropriate country code. 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

Wifi can be found in many places across the island. Sometimes this requires a password which establishments can give customers. Internet cafes are also located in the main towns and resorts.

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, In-Cyprus (online), 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, RIK 2, and RIK HD and Radio 1 (in Greek), Radio 2 (in English, Turkish and Armenian), Radio 3 (in Greek), and Radio Classic (in English) in the south. In northern Cyprus, Bayrak Radio-TV operates channels BRT 1 and BRT 2, and Bayrak Radio 1 (in Turkish), Bayrak International (in English), and Bayrak Radio News.

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 0900-1100; 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.

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