Cyprus Business Opportunities – General Information
I – CYPRUS WAS, IS AND WILL BECOME, MORE THEN EVER, ATTRACTIVE FOR FOREIGN INVESTMENTS – latest update 16.06.2014
A – Past
– Cyprus unique geographical strategic location at the crossroads of 3 Continents, one of the most favorable taxation systems in Europe and sunshine climate year around, ranked Cyprus historically among the frontrunners in the world in the attraction of foreign investments. Major countries investing capital in Cyprus were within the EU (f.i. UK, Greece) and outside the E.U.(f.i. Russia, US). Cyprus developed through the years as a reputable financial and international services hub, especially in the banking and shipping sector. With Cyprus accession to the European Union in 2004, offering a transparent EU harmonized legal and regulatory framework, confidence to invest and prosper in Cyprus was further increased Cyprus role as a business bridge between Europe, Asia and Africa/Middle East was firmly established and enhanced.
B – Present
– Despite the global financial crisis and the financial bailout from the E.U and the IMF, foreign investors have shown confidence in Cyprus as an attractive investment location through their commitment to keep their operations on the island. Of course the comparative competitive advantages of Cyprus of its location, legal framework and infrastructure, taxation, climate remained largely untouched. Even better the more pro-business government is making genuine efforts to attract more foreign investments with generous incentives. Opportunities are plenty and todays uncertainties and risks pale by comparison to the potential return. For example land and real estate prices have been falling steadily in the past 2 years and are now 20% till 50 % lower than they were 2 to 3 years ago. Not surprisingly, Chinese enterprises looking for gradual expansion in the international market recognized the opportunities and are now considering Cyprus as a Golden Gateway to Europe. As a testimonial a HONG KONG based company recently bought the Venus Rock Golf resort and now intends to invest up to Euro 1.5 billion in the project.
C – Future
– In the case of Cyprus the best is yet to come. Cyprus will increasingly become one of the best destinations for value investing. The discovery of large quantities of natural gas in the Cyprus EEZ will be another strong boost to the economy of Cyprus even though gas and revenues will not start flowing until the end of the decade. In the meantime the agreement to build an LNG terminal in Vassilikos is of strategic importance and represents the largest investment in the history of Cyprus. The initial construction phase will take more than 4 years to complete and will offer many investment opportunities for related industries. With this investment in an LNG terminal, Cyprus could become a regional hub for the gas from Cyprus, Israel, Libanon etc.
D – Conclusion
– Currently Cyprus is an undervalued investment destination. The benefits and opportunities Cyprus presents to the global business and investment community are both tangible and substantial. Investing today in Cyprus offers the investor a first mover advantage, which may not be available when the opportunities are widely recognized. Acting when Cyprus is still affordable is the message here.
II – BUSINESS SET UP REGULATIONS
– The foreign direct investment policy (FDI) has been liberalized for both EU and non-EU nationals. Subsequently, administrative procedures have been simplified and no limitations apply in most sectors of the economy, as per the minimum level of investment and the foreigner’s participation percentage.
-International businesses may invest and establish businesses in Cyprus on equal terms with local investors. Foreign investors can register a company directly with the register of companies and obtain any license from the appropriate authority depending on the nature of the investment.
III – RESIDENCY AND CITIZENSHIP
– One of the major reasons why for example the Chinese are investing in Cyprus is due to the Governmental promotion scheme that applies to Chinese and other foreigners wishing to get the Cyprus permanent residence status. A permanent residence status gives foreigners the advantage to move and expand their businesses much easier in the E.U. Any Cyprus property investment over 300.000 Euro and deposits of 30000 Euro for 3 years are the requirements.
– There are a number of options available to obtain Cyprus citizenship and the key ones are the following:
1) To invest 2 MIO Euro in the state treasury (get shares/bonds) and 500.000 Euro to invest towards the Cyprus Research and Technology Fund.
2) Direct investments of 5 Mio Euro in projects as houses, businesses, hotels etc., including purchasing shares from Companies registered in Cyprus.
3) Deposits in a local bank of 5 Mio. Euro for at least 3 years (or in a Cyprus company of which he is the main beneficiary).
In case of interest please contact Mr. Patrick Larose