Cyprus, due to its strategic location at the crossroads of three continents, has been, since ancient times, the “Centre of Trade” for Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. As a full member of European Union, Cyprus now offers a unique range of additional advantages to international businesses. More importantly, it is the eastern gateway to the EU and the member state nearest to the emerging markets of the Middle East and Africa. Cyprus has friendly political and commercial relations with all its neighbours, a stable open market economy, an excellent infrastructure, a western type democracy, a favourable foreign investment climate and an exceptionally competitive tax regime, with more 57 double tax treaties with key trading partners in operation. Cyprus is, therefore, best positioned to serve as the springboard for Chinese products and businesses to the lucrative EU, Middle East and North African markets.
With China’s accession to the World Trade Organization many sectors of the Economy have opened up including retailing, distribution, insurance and healthcare. The EU is one of China’s major trading partners. The ‘Made in China’ label can now be found on many products in shops and supermarkets across Europe.
A large number of European companies have significant operations in China’s booming economy. Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) has attracted considerable investment from European companies in an industry boosted by the availability of a large pool of cheap but highly skilled labour.
The EURO – CHINA BUSINESS CENTRE ORGANIZATION, aims to bring China closer to Europe, Middle East and North Africa by offering suitable facilities and a complete package of professional services to Chinese businessmen and their counterparts from nearby countries to meet under one roof and investigate the opportunities of doing business together.
Cyprus is a communications hub for international flights to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. There are frequent and reliable connections with most destinations in the region from the Larnaca and Paphos International airports. Approximate flight time from Cyprus to most European capitals ranges from 1hour and 30 minutes to 4 hours and 30 minutes, and to all Middle East capitals from 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Already an international airliner carrier has obtained a license to operate a direct flight from Shanghai to Larnaka while a second carrier investigates the opportunity of introducing a second direct connection from Beijing.