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International businesses choose Cyprus for headquarters

Article - March 26, 2016

Cyprus is increasingly ranked on the shortlist of decision makers when it comes to choosing the right location to establish international and regional headquarters. The island provides not only access to the EU’s market of over 500 million people, but also a secure base to tap into the evolving markets of the Middle East and Africa

With new regulation such as the OECD Common Reporting Standard coming into play, establishing substance and physical presence is an increasingly important aspect for business. Cyprus’ importance as a management centre and a jurisdiction where substance is easily established is set to grow. With operational costs being substantially lower than in Western Europe, Cyprus offers an efficient and conducive business environment in which to build-up European, African or Middle Eastern networks. The country also has a long-established free trade zone close to Larnaca, offering excellent infrastructure, low rents and customs-free status.

Gateway Country
The strategic geographical position of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean has always played a pivotal role in influencing the country’s destiny and prosperity, and led to close cultural and business relationships with countries in the region.

A former British colony, Cyprus has a longstanding relationship with the UK, enjoying close business ties as well as a comprehensive, modern and forward-looking legal and regulatory framework based on English Common Law principles.

Cyprus’ s entry into the EU in 2004, and the Eurozone in 2008, was welcomed by the international business community, who saw it as a new opportunity for foreign companies to use Cyprus as a convenient entry point into the EU marketplace. Multinationals from a range of different sectors have already chosen Cyprus as the location for their regional headquarters. Giants such as, Weatherford, Buena Vista Hospitality Group, NCR, Bernard Shulte Shipmanagement, Kardex, Wargaming and AMDOCS are just some of the corporations that have based operational or corporate management functions on the island.

Corporate Location
Cyprus offers a strategic location, a competitive and EU-approved tax environment, an educated English-speaking labour force, excellent telecommunications, modern banking and legal infrastructure, and a high quality of life – all of which make it an ideal international management centre and springboard into neighbouring markets. Foreign companies already based in Cyprus comment favourably on their experiences with local employees in terms of productivity, profitability and dependability. Home to a major international business and financial services sector, the country is an ideal base for region-wide corporate coordination and central management functions, sales, marketing and customer service. As a pro-business, neutral, cost-effective and politically stable country, Cyprus offers companies a perfect climate to successfully compete in the region. A fiscally efficient tax structure leads the way and is complemented by a network of almost 60 double-taxation treaties, facilitating international business and ensuring a smooth trading environment. In addition to its geographical proximity to major markets, Cyprus also scores high on connectivity. The country is connected by air through its two international airports with major cities in Europe and key destinations in North Africa and the Middle East, most being just a few hours’ flight-time away.

The Pull Factor
Cyprus has established itself as a magnet for foreign-owned companies and is continuously improving its competitive position. A stable business environment and excellent quality of life are just a few of the many reasons why companies relocate senior decision makers to perform strategic functions from Cyprus. In the long term, Cyprus has great prospects to benefit from growth in the region and become an increasingly popular choice as a location for international and regional headquarters. Boasting the lowest crime rate in the EU, a superb Mediterranean climate, competitive personal tax rates, as well as excellent educational and healthcare systems, Cyprus is an easy sell for expatriate executives, particularly those with families.

Source:, part of the CountryProfiler Group, an international publisher of business intelligence