Cyprus Country Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 5, 2009

cyprusIMAGE200Up until 1974 both Northern and Southern Cyprus were under the same rule, although years of infighting and conflict came to a bloody conclusion.  This prompted both the UN and British Authorities to intervene and erect an official “green line” separating the North and South of the island.  This created a Turkish Controlled Cypriot state in the North and a Greek Controlled Cypriot state in the South.

This cut the Eurasian island country into two, making the Mediterranean’s third largest island a dichotomy of destinations and one of the most advanced economies in the world.

Originally a member of the United Kingdom, prior to independence in 1960 (and admission to the Commonwealth in 1961) there is a heavy UK influence, especially in the Northern region, as well as the obvious Greek and Turkish influences.

A beautiful land which has been hidden away from the general tourist industry for some time, Cyprus is beginning to grow in its own right along with the community of Expats living in Cyprus .

Contents: Economy in Cyprus Prospects in CyprusCyprus Facts

Economy in Cyprus

The economies of the country are literally separated in two as you would expect, with the Southern area of the country historically more prosperous.  The balance has changed in recent times with the North now emerging from a period of both political and economic isolation with the recent opening of transport networks the main catalyst.

The South of the country has received a large boost from recent oil discoveries which are currently being exploited in tandem with neighboring Egypt.  This area of the country has also attracted a vast array of foreign companies over the years, with many pin pointing Cyprus as area where Christianity meets the Muslim faith.

The North has been in the wilderness for some time, but recent changes have opened up a number of direct flights to mainland Europe.  This has enabled the authorities to assist in expanding the economy with tourism and hotels some of the fastest growing areas of employment.

Overall, the rate of unemployment has fallen from over 5% to 4.5% with many suggesting this rate will remain steady or possible fall further.  The South of the country is more developed than the North, however it is the North which is “picking up the slack” at the moment and driving the overall country ahead.

Overall, the the country’s per capita GDP is at par with the average of the European Union. Its current economic thrust is geared towards its assumption into the European Union.

With a heavy British influence, not only with defending forces, the North and South have become a haven for UK expats.  They seem to be attracted by both the potential for employment as well as the favorable climate.  Income tax in the country ranges from 20% to 30%, depending upon income.

Cyprus Tourism Brochures (Official)

Note: Some of these PDFs are quite large downloads.

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A brochure about 1000 years of history and civilization in Cyprus. A brochure on conferences, events and the available facilities in Cyprus. A brochure for those interested in wine tours and Cyprus history on wine.

Prospects in Cyprus

A period of calm has attracted more interest from international businesses than in previous years, although there is no doubt that the South is more developed than the North.  The Turkish North has however benefited from the introduction of direct transport links which had been sorely missed.  Tourism is quickly becoming a major industry for the North, and is very much in its infancy.

The South of the country has historically been better developed than the North, having always had direct access to other countries in the region.  The discovery of a major source of oil has further added to the potential for the future, with the Greek leaders in direct talks with neighboring Egypt to exploit the reserves to their full.

As a whole Cyprus is on the up swing, together with the Northern area is currently experiencing above average growth which is in excess of growth in the South.  Both economies have great potential for the future and the unemployment rates offer hope for would be foreign nationals. Employment though in the Cypriot tourism industry is rather seasonal with definite preference for English speaking workers especially in the more prosperous South.

Cyprus Key Facts:

Bordered by Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt

Food:  Heavily influenced by Greek and Turkish cultures

Temperature: Sub Zero in the mountains to 30c elsewhere

Industries: Oil, Service Industry, Tourism and Hotels

Education: Primary and Secondary Education, with Private and State funded schools available

Health: Life expectancy 78 years


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