Cyprus is an island situated in the Northeastern Mediterranean at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. With an area of 9.251 sq. km it is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. The population of Cyprus is a little over 700.000, of whom approximately 78% are of Greek origin, 18% of Turkish origin and the rest are Armenians, British, Maronite, Latin, and other.
Nicosia is the capital of the Island and the main business centre. Other cities are Limassol, an important commercial port and business centre, Larnaca, where the main international airport is situated and Paphos, a fast developing tourist resort and the location of a second international airport.
Cyprus has a healthy and pleasant Mediterranean climate with dry summers and mild winters. Average day temperatures range between 5oC - 15oC in Winter and 25oC - 35oC in Summer and most of the rain falls during the months of November to April.
The strategic position of Cyprus has been always a target for the great powers throughout the ages. Among others, Cyprus has been under the rule of the Egyptians, the Romans, the Venetians, the French, the Turks and the British. The British who were the last governors of the island before the Cyprus independence in 1960 have influenced the administrative and the legal system, the banking sector, commerce and other sectors of the Island's outlook.
POLITICAL AND LEGAL SYSTEM
Under its Constitution, Cyprus is an independent and sovereign republic with a Presidential System of government. The President of the Republic, who is the Head of State, is elected directly from the public for a period of five years.
The main executive body is the Council of Ministers, which is appointed by the President. Legislative power lies with the House of Representatives, the members of which are elected for a period of five years.
The Cyprus legal system has been structured on its English Counterpart and the English case law is followed on a rule. The Judiciary Power is exercised by a separate and independent body.
Cyprus enjoys high educational standards comparable to that of other developed countries in the World. The high standard of elementary and secondary state-owned schools are complemented by a number of private schools and colleges. The Cyprus University has come into operation from 1992.
ACCOMMODATION AND QUALITY OF LIFE
For housing and offices, modern accommodation facilities are available at reasonably low cost while excellent service is provided for hotel accommodation. The cost of living compares favorably to that of most countries with a similar standard and quality of life.
TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS
The development of Cyprus as an international commercial and business centre has led to the establishment of a wide network of air routes connecting Cyprus with Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, Middle East and Gulf.
The Island's telecommunication system ranks among the most efficient in the world.
Cyprus has an open free market economy where the role of the government is limited only to regulation, indicative planning and the provision of infrastructure and public utilities.
The Per Capita GNP is over US$ 16.000 and is one of the highest in the Mediterranean. On the other hand the cost of living is low compared to other countries with a similar standard and quality of life.
The biggest contribution to the GDP comes from the tourist and service sectors followed by the manufacturing and construction sectors. Trade, restaurants and hotels, finance, insurance and business services and manufacturing are the most important sectors of the economy.
Cyprus has achieved a significant rate of growth of its economy during the recent years combined with the low inflation, low unemployment and low external debt.
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