Cyprus is at the north-eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. It covers an area of 9,251 sq km and lies 65 km south of Turkey, 96 km west of Syria, 385 km North of Egypt and some 980 km south-east of Athens.
The principal topographical features of Cyprus are the two mountain ranges running along the centre and north-east of the Island, separated by a wide and fertile plain.
Cyprus has a pleasant climate with dry, hot summers and mild winters.
The population of Cyprus is about 758,000 (2000 est.). Greek Cypriots form the largest ethnic community representing approximately 78%; Turkish Cypriots comprise the second largest community representing 18% and the remaining 4% representing other minorities.
» Political Structure
Cyprus became an independent Republic in 1960. The political system is modelled on Western democracies in which individual rights are respected and private enterprise is given every opportunity to develop. Under its Constitution, Cyprus has a presidential system of Government. The President is the Head of State and is elected for a five-year term of office.
The executive arm of the Government is the Council of Ministers to which the President appoints members. The Ministers are responsible for the administration of all matters falling within the domain of their ministries and for the implementation of legislation. Legislative power is in the hands of the House of Representatives, which consists of 56 elected members who hold office for a period of five years. A multi-party system operates in Cyprus and the electoral system is based on proportional representation.
The legal system is based on that of the United Kingdom and all statutes regulating business matters and procedure are based on English Law. Most laws are officially translated in to English.
» Infrastructure and Economy
Cyprus is readily accessible by air and sea. The major port facilities are those of Limassol and Larnaca, situated along the south coast of the Island.
The economy of Cyprus is based on a free enterprise system. The Government's role is limited to regulation, planning and the provision of public utilities. During the last fifteen years, the economy of Cyprus has demonstrated spectacular growth and its currency has enjoyed relative stability.
Greek, English and Turkish are the official languages of Cyprus. English is widely spoken and understood, particularly in commercial and government sectors.
» Exchange Control
Yes, but does not apply to IBC companies.
» Type of Law
Civil code with many English Common Law influences.
» Principal Corporate Legislation
International Business Companies Ordinance 1994.