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CYPRUS IMPRESSES GLOBAL MARKET
CYPRUS IMPRESSES GLOBAL MARKET

A recent Sustainable Economic Development Assessment report discusses the Cypriot economy which is considered to be entering an upward trend. According to the study, Cyprus has significantly improved its key economic, investment and sustainability factors, placing the country as one of the top performers in terms of converting wealth into well-being.

PAFOS INCLUDED ON WORLD LIST OF TOP 100 GREEN & SUSTAINABLE DESTINATIONS
PAFOS INCLUDED ON WORLD LIST OF TOP 100 GREEN & SUSTAINABLE DESTINATIONS

Pafos has been included in a world list of the top one hundred green and sustainable destinations, according to tourism officials. Head of the Pafos Regional Board of Tourism, Nasos Hadjigeorgiou, said that he was delighted that Pafos had excelled above other candidates of worldwide destinations as one of the Top 100 sustainable destinations.

CYSTAT: TOURIST ARRIVALS INCREASE IN NOVEMBER 2016
CYSTAT: TOURIST ARRIVALS INCREASE IN NOVEMBER 2016

On the basis of the results of the Passengers Survey published by the Statistical Service of Cyprus, arrivals of tourists recorded an increase of 14.9% in November 2016 compared to November 2015.

2 CYPRUS BEACHES IN TOP 25 BEST BEACHES OF EU
2 CYPRUS BEACHES IN TOP 25 BEST BEACHES OF EU

According to TRIP ADVISOR, Cyprus beaches ranked number 9 and number 17 in the top 25 best beaches in Europe. The first place went to Protaras while the third to Ayia Napa. Fig Tree bay is in the sandy family orientated resort of Protaras.

FITCH PUTS LONG-TERM CREDIT RATING AT B+
FITCH PUTS LONG-TERM CREDIT RATING AT B+

Fitch Ratings has affirmed Cyprus’ long-term credit rating at B+ with a positive outlook, the agency said recently. Fitch said that “Cyprus is undergoing a major financial sector, fiscal, and economic adjustment following the 2013 banking sector crisis and the ensuing EU/IMF bail-out programme” and noted that “the country’s early exit from the macroeconomic adjustment programme in March 2016 reflects a track record of fiscal consolidation, progress in financial sector restructuring and economic recovery

CYPRUS' 3RD GAS LICENSING ROUND TO CONCLUDE IN 2017
CYPRUS' 3RD GAS LICENSING ROUND TO CONCLUDE IN 2017

Cyprus expects a third offshore natural gas licensing round in the eastern Mediterranean to be concluded early next year. Cyprus, which discovered natural gas off its coast in 2011, is seeking to develop its energy sector to bolster an economy that relies mostly on tourism, business services, and shipping.

PAFOS MAYOR PRESENTS UPGRADING PROJECTS
PAFOS MAYOR PRESENTS UPGRADING PROJECTS

According to the municipality, the current projects have a price tag of €8.3m and will include the upgrading of the squares of October 28, Dionysios Solomos and Kosti Palama. Also included in this phase is the upgrading of the traditional town centre (Ktima) and Kennedy Square. The upgrade works are scheduled for completion in January 2017, when Paphos will officially assume the title of Cultural Capital of Europe.

CYPRUS & LUXEMBOURG: CLEANEST WATER
CYPRUS & LUXEMBOURG: CLEANEST WATER

Cyprus, Luxembourg, Greece and Malta are home to Europe’s cleanest bathing waters, the European Union’s environment watchdog says. Surveys of more than 21,000 seaside, river and lake sites across Europe during 2015 showed that over 84 per cent achieved excellent status, the Copenhagen-based European Environment Agency (EEA) and European Commission said.

2016 RECORD YEAR FOR CYPRUS' TOURISM
2016 RECORD YEAR FOR CYPRUS' TOURISM

2016 is forecast to be a record year for tourist arrivals and revenue, Tourism Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said recently. Lakkotrypis pointed out that “all indications are that this year will be the best year ever, both in terms of tourist arrivals and revenue” and described as the increase foreseen for winter months as “very important”. Lakkotrypis said that Cyprus must overcome the obstacle of seasonality, noting that “a large part of the reduction in unemployment seen in recent months was due to the performance of the tourism industry”

CYPRUS PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS KEEP RISING
CYPRUS PROPERTY TRANSACTIONS KEEP RISING

The Cyprus real estate market is showing strong signs of growth with the number of transactions continually on the rise. According to the Department of Lands and Surveys the number of property transactions rose 35% in April 2016, compared with the respective month of 2015, boosted mainly by sales in Limassol. According to the report, Limassol and Pafos districts saw a 44% and 14% increase respectively. Additionally, the number of foreign purchasers more than doubled.

OBTAIN EU CITIZENSHIP FOR YOUR FAMILY WITH €2M INVESTMENT
OBTAIN EU CITIZENSHIP FOR YOUR FAMILY WITH €2M INVESTMENT

In March 2014 the government changed the legislation that enables foreign investors to become a Cypriot (EU) citizen and obtain a Cypriot passport through naturalisation, making it more accessible and affordable than ever. Citizenship is obtained for the entire family, including dependent children up to age 28!

HALLIBURTON CHOSE CYPRUS AS ITS EASTERN MED OPERATIONS BASE
HALLIBURTON CHOSE CYPRUS AS ITS EASTERN MED OPERATIONS BASE

On 9th May, oilfield services giant Halliburton concluded a deal with the government to use Cyprus as their base of operations for the eastern Mediterranean, providing a much-needed “vote of confidence” for the prospects of the Cypriot economy. Halliburton’s Senior Vice President for Europe and Africa, Mark Richard, met at the Presidential Palace on Friday evening with President Anastasiades, in the presence of the Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry & Tourism, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis to close the deal.

MAY FLOWER FESTIVAL - ANTHESTERIA
MAY FLOWER FESTIVAL - ANTHESTERIA

The annual flower festival fills the air with the fragrance of fresh local flowers. The word Anthestiria derives from the Greek word anthos, meaning flower. The Anthestiria Festival is a celebration of spring and nature’s rebirth. Celebrations take place in most towns and include parades of flower floats, dancing, flower markets and traditional music. The festivities date back to ancient Greek times, when feasts were organised in Athens every four years to honour the god of theatre and parties, Dionysus. Anthestiria were also the festivals of souls, plants and flowers, celebrating the rebirth of man and nature.

CYPRUS, AN ALTERNATIVE ENERGY CORRIDOR
CYPRUS, AN ALTERNATIVE ENERGY CORRIDOR

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Cyprus sent an international message that Cyprus offers an alternative energy corridor for the supply of natural gas, said Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis recently. He added that Cyprus and America have set priorities to pursue in the coming months in order to achieve tangible results. Lakkotrypis said the US and Cyprus delegations discussed Europe’s need to wean itself off energy supplies - a likely reference to the EU’s dependence on Russian gas - and create alternative corridors of energy supply. Regarding Cyprus’ plans to build an LNG terminal, the minister said Biden stressed the various options that exist for dealing with hydrocarbon deposits and the need for Cyprus to choose the best one taking into consideration the time factor.

CYPRUS CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF EU MEMBERSHIP
CYPRUS CELEBRATES 10 YEARS OF EU MEMBERSHIP

EU institutions have marked the 10th anniversary of the bloc’s biggest enlargement in recent history: on May 1, 2004, 10 new countries joined the EU, including Cyprus. EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Füle commented that this enlargement benefitted both the joining countries and the existing members states.

NEW CRUISE SHIP DOCK TO BE BUILT IN PAFOS
NEW CRUISE SHIP DOCK TO BE BUILT IN PAFOS

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yiannakis Omirou, recently announced that the Ports Authority together with the Communications and Works Ministry will proceed with the construction of a new dock at Pafos Port that will enable cruise liners to berth, a project that he claims will boost the city’s tourist and economic development and indirectly help the Paphos 2017 aims. It was also announced that disbursement of the €5 million, already allocated by the Council of Ministers, will be expedited, and projects requiring joint funding from the EU will be submitted to the European Commission by July. In his remarks to the press, Omirou said that decisions were taken to ensure that projects necessary for the successful outcome of Paphos 2017 are swiftly implemented.

Limassol Carnival
Limassol Carnival

Carnival period in Cyprus is famous for its costume parties and parades, as well as other public celebrations. The main attractions are the entrance of King Carnival, the Children’s Carnival Parade and the Serenaders’ Parade, although many more events and parties take place. In fact, all towns in Cyprus are festively decorated and host a plethora of fun festivities during this period. Festivities begin 10 days before Lent, at the beginning of Kreatini or “meat week” the last opportunity for devout Orthodox Cypriots to enjoy a meat feast, until Easter.

CYPRUS SCHOOL OF MEDICINE TAKES 2 GOLD AWARDS
CYPRUS SCHOOL OF MEDICINE TAKES 2 GOLD AWARDS

The Audio-Visual/Technology solution implemented at the School of Medicine at European University Cyprus has been awarded with two International Awards by Crestron Integration Awards. The results were recently announced at the Integrated Systems Europe(ISE) Exhibition which took place in Amsterdam between the 4th and 6th of February.

GREEN MONDAY
GREEN MONDAY

Green Monday also knows as Clean Monday marks the end of Carnival merriment and is also the fi rst day of Lent, which is a National holiday in Cyprus. The day is known for its custom of outdoor gathering for picnics with a spread of customary fasting dishes and all family members participating in flying a kite.

LIMASSOL MARATHON, 16TH MARCH 2014
LIMASSOL MARATHON, 16TH MARCH 2014

Fully accredited by AIMS (Association of International Marathons and Distance Races) and IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations), the Limassol Marathon is a flat course which follows the Mediterranean coastline, enabling both experienced athletes and sport enthusiasts of all ages to participate.

PAFOS VOTED ONE OF THE BEST WEDDING DESTINATIONS
PAFOS VOTED ONE OF THE BEST WEDDING DESTINATIONS

Part of the Tripadvisor group, Flipkey is a vacation rental marketplace with more than 240,000 rentals around the world. The site recently conducted a survey to identify the best wedding destinations. The criteria included the natural beauty of the location (which helps to make the perfect backdrop to tie the knot), the resources the destination offers for weddings, the wedding planning process, nightlife and entertainment, traditional food and local cultural experiences.

'Eco Oscar' for Cyprus
'Eco Oscar' for Cyprus

Cypriot charity 'Cans For Kids' has been awarded the International Youth Energy Globe for its work promoting volunteerism in Cyprus, as well as its contribution to the improvement of medical care for sick children on the island.

Potential Qatari investments
Potential Qatari investments

Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, and three cabinet ministers have just returned from a successful three-day official visit to Doha.

Cyprus president in Qatar for business deals
Cyprus president in Qatar for business deals

Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, and three cabinet ministers are currently in Doha (26th – 28th January) for a three-day official visit. The purpose of the visit is to strengthen bilateral cooperation, in particular in the fields of investment, trade and tourism.

Cyprus ranks 27th  in Forbes 'best countries for business'
Cyprus ranks 27th in Forbes 'best countries for business'

In this year’s The Best Countries for Business survey by international financial publication Forbes, Cyprus has topped the rankings coming first in the “personal freedoms” category.

Cyprus moved back into top 10 on the latest ‘Top of the Props’ report
Cyprus moved back into top 10 on the latest ‘Top of the Props’ report

Cyprus moved back into the top 10 in the latest ‘Top of the Props’ report published by the property portal TheMoveChannel.com, accounting for 1.74% of on-line searches on the property portal.

EasyJet announces 2 new destinations from Larnaca
EasyJet announces 2 new destinations from Larnaca

Low-cost carrier EasyJet has announced two new routes from Larnaca, Cyprus!

Pafos to be the European Capital of Culture in Cyprus in 2017
Pafos to be the European Capital of Culture in Cyprus in 2017

On 14th September 2012, the city of Pafos was recommended for the title ‘European Capital of Culture in 2017’ by an independent selection panel. Nicosia, Cyprus’ capital was the other Cypriot city in contention. On 24th August, the independent panel proposed Aarhus in Denmark to be the other ‘European Capital of Culture for 2017’.The formal nomination of both winning cities by the EU's Council of Ministers will take place in May 2013.

Accelerated procedure for non-EU national immigration permits
Accelerated procedure for non-EU national immigration permits

The Council of Ministers has recently announced a new procedure to expedite the process for non-EU national immigration permit applications which fulfil certain...

Transfer fee tax incentive extended until December 2012
Transfer fee tax incentive extended until December 2012

The Cyprus government has extended the property transfer fee reduction/suspension scheme, which was due to expire in June, until 31st December 2012. The changes apply to the first sale of a property, where the contract is dated and deposited at the Land Registry by the end of the year.

5% VAT payable on new homes now applicable to non-EU nationals
5% VAT payable on new homes now applicable to non-EU nationals

The Cyprus government has expanded the 5 percent VAT payable on new homes used as primary residences to include non-EU nationals. The tax incentives are designed to stimulate growth in the Cyprus property market by reducing the cost of home ownership.

Pafos property sales to foreign buyers up 165%
Pafos property sales to foreign buyers up 165%

Cyprus property sales have seen a dramatic boost during May 2012 compared with the same period last year. Sales to foreign buyers in Pafos were particularly strong, increasing 165% on the same period last year, while sales in the Limassol district also increased by 21%. Domestic sales during May also saw a substantial increase, with the exception of Limassol which saw a decline of -1.5%. Overall a 24% domestic property sale increase was recorded across all districts compared with the same period last year.

Kataklysmos 13 June 2012
Kataklysmos 13 June 2012

Fifty days after Easter is Kataklysmos, which is otherwise known as the Festival of the Flood, or the Water Festival. This religious public holiday sees a three day celebration at all of the major coastal towns across the island, with the promenades taking on the appearance of an open-air fair, with countless stalls selling toys and traditional Cypriot food. The celebrations include folk dancing, singing, games, swimming competitions, boat races, and just generally throwing water at each other. A great way to stay cool in the Cyprus sun!

New flights between Pafos and Lebanon to commence in July
New flights between Pafos and Lebanon to commence in July

The new route which is set to commence on July 13th, will offer flights between the two destinations on Mondays and Fridays until late September. According to the Pafos Regional Tourism Board, this is the first time that charter flights will connect the two destinations. Prior to the inaugural flight a MTV television crew will film extensively in the Pafos district, highlighting the great appeal of the coastal town. Additionally, Pafos is currently hosting 120 Lebanese travel agents, familiarizing them with the area and its attractions. A Pafos Regional Tourism Board spokesperson commented that the town plans to expand current schedules and further develop the market for the future.

Decision taken for LNG terminal
Decision taken for LNG terminal

In a statement ending months of speculation on Cyprus’ gas plans, Commerce Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis announced on the 7th June that a decision has been taken to build a liquefaction plant for natural gas on the island. Sylikiotis commented that there is a lot of interest from overseas companies in the LNG project including some financial institutions, adding that Deutsche Bank and Credit Agricole have expressed “a preliminary interest” in investing in a liquefaction terminal. He went on to say that the government will shortly appoint a team that will enter into negotiations with Noble Energy, which has a gas concession in Cyprus’ Block 12. Sylikiotis, also commented that the establishment of a state hydrocarbons corporation is just a matter of weeks away. Meanwhile the government has commissioned the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to carry out a study on financial prospects from gas exploitation. Cyprus and Israel are currently engaged in negotiations for a unitization agreement regarding the gas-sharing and exploitation of reserves that fall on the maritime boundary between the two nations. Noble has said it plans to carry out follow-up appraisal drilling in the Cypriot field in Q4 or early next year.

Cyprus could become energy bridge
Cyprus could become energy bridge

WORLD’S LONGEST POWER CABLE PLANNED TO REAP GAS RICHES
 
Israel and Cyprus began a feasibility study on 04.03.12 for the construction of an underwater electric cable between the two countries that could ensure their energy security and offer Israel a channel to export energy to Europe.The Israel-Cyrpus leg, with an estimated cost of half a billion euros ($660 million), would eventually be part of a much longer cable continuing to Greece and from there to the pan-European electricity grid. If approved, the EuroAsia Interconnector will stretch 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) in total at a maximum depth of 2,000 meters, making it the most ambi­tious project ever of its kind, said Nasos Ktorides, chairman of DEH Quantum Energy. Ktorides signed a memorandum of understanding in Jerusalem with his partner, state-owned Israel Electric Corp (IEC), to begin the feasibility study that should be completed by year end. The cable itself will take three years to build. Quantum En­ergy is comprised of Greece’s PPC, Cyprus’s Quantum Energy and Bank of Cyprus. Israel Energy Minister Uzi Landau has promoted building the submarine cable that will carry 2,000 megawatts in both directions, allowing Israel to sell electricity when production is high and have a back-up when reserves drop.

Chinese Larnaca airport investment
Chinese Larnaca airport investment

Hermes Airports Ltd, the consortium operating and managing Cyprus’ two airports, has confirmed re­ports that it is negotiating a sizeable investment with an undisclosed Chinese company pertaining to the construction of exhibition showrooms and a logistical service centre at the old Larnaca airport build­ing. Airports’ spokesman Adamos Aspris, announced that the consortium has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese company following months of “discreet talks”. The MoU will “pave the way for more substantive talks” between the two parties, with a view to achieving “one of the larg­est investments ever made in our country,” commented Aspris. Adding, the Chinese company’s pro­posal involves the creation of a large commercial showroom for Chinese products as well as a logistical services centre. “The logistical centre will be based at the old Larnaca airport, and will constitute the bridge linking China to Europe, Africa and the Middle East”. The value of the investment is rumoured to be in the region of €1 billion. The project is expected to create hundreds of jobs and increase visitors to the island, including the managerial staff of the companies showcasing their products. Larnaca Mayor Andreas Louroudjiatis welcomed the news, commenting “the old airport area definitely needs to be developed and it can contribute to the town’s growth”. He also commented, that the Larnaca munici­pality is ready to help in all ways possible to reach a positive conclusion, including easy procedures to settle legal aspects. “This is why we created a specific committee at the municipal council that involves promoting investments,” Louroudjiatis explained. “We want to send out the message that it is time for Larnaca to achieve the growth that it deserves.”

Second licensing round
Second licensing round

In February, Cyprus launched a second licensing round for 12 blocks in its offshore Exclusive Economic Zone, excluding the prospect in which Noble tapped a sizeable reserve last year. Interior Minister Neoklis Silikiotis announced that the effi cient establishment of a national oil company is a high priority for the government, adding that several companies have expressed an interest in the licensing round. He went on to say “we shall set up a corporation which will be the strategic partner of all the companies and will be involved in matters of local infrastructure as well as the distribution of natural gas to the world market.” The Cypriot delegation presented the second licensing round during APPEX (American Association of Petroleum Geologists Prospect and Property Expo) which took place in London between the 6th and 8th March 2012. In addition, Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Markoullis visited Norway on the 5th March for official talks with Norway’s State Secretary Mr. Per Rune Henriksen at the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy regarding a possible cooperation in the field of hydrocarbons.

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