Cyprus provides a compelling value proposition for foreign investors:
1. Strategic Location
Due to its geographical location, Cyprus has long been a nexus point for global trade and regional diplomacy. The recent discovery of natural gas in the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone has further upgraded the strategic importance of the island, which is also considered to be a stabilising factor in the region’s political future.
2. EU Member State
Cyprus became a full member of the EU in 2004 and in 2008, it joined the Eurozone. The EU membership provides investors the advantage of free access to the EU market.
3. Regulatory Framework
Cyprus has a modern legal and regulatory framework based on English Common Law principles. The country’s legal framework is widely recognised as a business-friendly system that allows for reliable and transparent business practices. Cyprus’ legal framework is fully aligned with EU laws and regulations.
Cyprus offers one of the most business-friendly tax systems in the world, with a core corporate tax levy of 12.5%. Cyprus also maintains an extensive and constantly growing network of 47 Double Taxation Treaties (DTTs), which underpin the calibration of the overall tax system. A number of further treaties are under negotiation.
5. Ease of Doing Business
The World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2013 ranked Cyprus 36th out of 185 countries for “Ease of Doing Business”, while Forbes Magazine’s 2012 Best Countries for Doing Business report ranked Cyprus 25th out of 144 countries. Furthermore, Bloomberg’s 2012 Best Countries for Doing Business Report ranked Cyprus 32nd out of 161 countries.
The country is supported by advanced infrastructure. It has an effective telecommunications system including national Wi-FI networks and 100% mobile coverage throughout the country. It is served by two newly-built international airports and two multipurpose deep sea ports, while all major cities are connected by an efficient point-to-point motorway network.
Non EU residents can acquire a permanent residency permit by purchasing a private home worth at least €300,000 and depositing a minimum of €30,000 in a local bank for three years. Moreover, non EU residents can acquire the Cypriot nationality with: investment of at least €2 million in a state company and €500,000 in the Research and Technology fund; direct investments of €5 million; bank deposits of €5 million in a local bank for five years; payments of income tax or VAT of more than €500,000.