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Cyprus

About Cyprus

The Republic of Cyprus is the largest island in the eastern Mediterranean situated south of Turkey, north of Egypt and west of Syria. Cyprus has long been a crossing point between Europe, Asia and Africa and traces of civilizations from these three continents are still evident in Cyprus.

A former British colony, Cyprus became independent in 1960 from British rule. In 1974, a Greek Government-sponsored attempt to seize control of Cyprus was met by military intervention from Turkey. This Turkish invasion led to Turkey taking control of more than a third of the island. The Republic of Cyprus is thus partitioned into two main parts; the area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus, comprising about 59% of the island\\\\\\\'s area, and the Turkish-controlled area in the north comprising of 37% of the island. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriot-occupied area declared itself the \\\\\\\"Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus\\\\\\\" (\\\\\\\"TRNC\\\\\\\"), but it is officially recognized only by Turkey.

The total population of Cyprus is estimated to be 1.1 million, comprising mainly of a Greek majority and a Turkish minority. Greek and Turkish are the official languages of the nation and English is taught and spoken as a second language in both the ethnic communities.

Cyprus is a Presidential republic. The head of state and of the government is elected by a process of Universal suffrage for a five-year term. Executive power is exercised by the government with legislative power vested in the House of Representatives whilst the Judiciary is independent of both the executive and the legislature.

An island nation with a very high Human Development Index .Cyprus was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement until it joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM2) in May 2005. The country officially adopted the euro as its national currency on 1 January, 2008.

The Republic of Cyprus boasts of an advanced, high-income market economy which is small, diversified, and prosperous. The Cypriot economy is essentially dominated by the service sector. Tourism, financial services and real estate are the most important sectors. The island’s main economic activities are tourism, clothing and craft exports and merchant shipping. Traditional crafts include embroidery, pottery and copperwork.

The island has witnessed a massive growth in tourism over the years and as such the property rental market in Cyprus has grown alongside. Added to this is the capital growth in property that has been created from the demand of incoming investors and property buyers to the island.

The island-nation has also been sought as a base for several offshore businesses for its highly developed infrastructure. The economic policy of the Cyprus government has consistently focused on meeting the criteria for admission to the European Union.

The economy of the Turkish-occupied areas operates on a free-market basis although it continues to be handicapped by the lack of private and public investment, high freight costs and shortages of skilled labor. More recently, growth has been buoyed by the relative stability of the Turkish new lira and by a boom in the education and construction sectors.