Energy – natural gas & petroleum:
Cyprus is now embarking on a major new chapter in its economy, having only recently signed an accord demarcating their maritime borders to facilitate a search for mineral deposits in the east Mediterranean where huge natural gas reserves have been discovered. Cyprus has such agreements with Israel, Egypt and Lebanon. Gas reserves are believed to be significant. No doubt, the Cypriot economy will experience significant change from these discoveries, with economic growth and new investments.
Drilling will be carried out by USA based firm Noble Energy, which has the concession over the area known as block 12. Noble and its Israeli partners recently made one of the largest deepwater gas finds of the past decade at Leviathan, an Israeli investment field just 34 km away from the Cypriot block. According to Noble Energy, Leviathan represents the largest exploration success in the company's history, with gross mean resources of 16 tcf of natural gas. The company is actively studying multiple export options for the natural gas, including both LNG and pipeline scenarios.
In addition to these recent major developments Cyprus is also continually striving to better its domestic energy sector, such as ensuring security of energy supply, increased competition and protecting the environment. Some noteworthy facts with this include:
Agriculture and manufacturing:
- Cyprus ranks number one in the world for solar energy use in residential water heating systems.
- A special fund has been created by government to promote the use of renewable energy sources. Over €20 million was provided to this fund each in both 2009 and 2010.
- 4.9% of the national energy needs in 2009 were met through renewable energy sources.
throughout history, agriculture and light manufacturing have been a pivotal component, or asset rather to Cyprus' society. It has always been a key trading avenue, facilitating the needs of passing though nations, and in many ways sustaining the country's growth and development. Even to this day, such activities are imbedded in the people and culture, with so many maintaining a rural and natural way of living.
Since independence in 1960, the Cypriot economy has shifted from agriculture and light manufacturing to services. At present, agriculture makes up only 2.4% of the GDP and employs 7.5% of the labour force. Yet it is still a vital component of the economy, particularly as it helps cater to domestic demand. Industry and construction contribute 19% and employ just over 20% of the labour force.
Manufactured goods account for 58.3% of domestic exports food and beverage processing, cement and gypsum production, textiles, light chemicals, metal products, wood, paper, stone and clay products, with potatoes and citrus constituting the principal export crops. Other key agricultural products include vegetables, barley, grapes, olives, poultry, pork, lamb, dairy and cheese. Trade is vital to the Cypriot economy and most goods are imported, such as fuels, most raw materials, heavy machinery, and transportation equipment. Over 67% of imports come from the European Union, particularly Greece, Italy, and the United Kingdom, 11% from Asia, 9% from the Middle East, and just under 2% come from the USA. Key export partners again are mainly within the EU, namely Germany (16%), the UK, Greece and Italy.