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Cyprus Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism

The Government is firmly commitment towards safeguarding and enhancing the competitiveness of Cyprus as a cost-effective platform for international business operations and a gateway for cross-border investment cooperation across Europe and the Middle East.

Cyprus has achieved this international status because of the hard work of our service providers, who have capitalised on some attractive comparative advantages and incentives that our island offers to international business operators and investors, such as:
  • The favourable corporate tax regime, coupled with a wide network of bilateral agreements for the avoidance of double taxation and supported by the high level of quality of our professional services,
  • The liberal foreign investment environment, underpinned by a strong, business-friendly legal and regulatory framework and, most importantly,
  • The island's strategic geographic location, strengthened by its membership of the EU and the Eurozone and the well-developed socio-economic infrastructure.
Our vision is to continue building on the strengths of our leading knowledge-based and export-oriented service industries.

Moreover, the Government is doing its utmost to give meaningful support to foreign investors and to our service providers, especially through the One Stop Shop which operates at the Ministry and is now being upgraded and renamed Point of Single Contact for businesses. This service is of critical importance to prospective investors, as it expedites the processing of their applications through the various Authorities.

At the same time, the Department of Registrar of Companies and Official Receiver has recently introduced e-searching electronic support systems – e-filing will soon follow – which will greatly improve its capacity of responding speedily to the needs of the business community. E-search has been embraced by the public and according to our very recent statistics as from mid-February to end of May 2011, it was used for a total of 10,317 searches. This is a good example of using modern technology for reducing the deadweight of bureaucracy on businesses and citizens.

In addition, great progress has been achieved in recent years in the legislative field with the introduction of the European Public Company, the redomiciliation of a registered company's seat from Cyprus to overseas and vice versa.

We are very much aware that bureaucracy and over-regulation is, indeed, a real burden on businesses in Cyprus, as it is the case in many European economies. In line with EU guidelines, the Government is determined to do what is practically feasible to combat this problem.

An example of the satisfactory work done in the recent years as regards registration of companies, partnerships and overseas companies can be portrayed by the following statistics:
Companies in Cyprus 2008 2009 2010 Year-to-date May 2011
New company registrations 24,453 16,101 19,278 8,028
Business names and partnerships 1,637 1,575 1,421 607
Overseas companies 95 73 86 30

It is in fact clear that information technology remains a key strategic partner of the Government for the implementation of its targets.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Cyprus has traditionally enjoyed the benefits of the close co-operation between the social partners. It is expected that this collaboration will continue and produce the good results required for our economy to go through the current economic crisis untouched.

The Government on its part follows a balanced policy which aims at avoiding confrontation with any social partner, whilst making every effort to bring together the forces of capital with those of labour. I have no doubt that it is by means of the unceasing efforts of our Government that Cyprus enjoys today a respected position.

Cyprus moves cautiously in these difficult times of economic crisis and wants to be a country active in the European Union and globally, something which is feasible within the coming years.

-Cyprus Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism

Excerpts of the Minister's address at the Cyprus 2011 Fiduciary Conference at the Hilton hotel, Nicosia, Thursday 16 June 2011.