Cyprus - Introduction
1. Geographic and Climate
Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. Cyprus is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece. The Republic of Cyprus is divided into six districts. It is an important hub in the heart of the Mediterranean at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia.
Cyprus has a subtropical climate with very mild winters (on the coast) and warm to hot summers. Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summer being generally dry. Cyprus has one of the warmest climates in the Mediterranean part of the European Union. Generally, the average annual temperature on the coast is around 24 °C during the day and 14 °C at night. Generally, summers last about eight months, beginning in April with average temperatures of 11–23 °C, and ending in November with average temperatures of 12–23 °C.
2. Political and Legal Systems
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. The Cyprus legal system is founded on English law, Cyprus has been a member of the European Union since 2004, and Cypriot government adopted the euro as the national currency on 1 January 2008.
3. Demographics, Language and Religion
Cyprus had a total population of 838,897 live in Republic of Cyprus controlled area (October 2011 census preliminary result), of whom 71.8% were Greeks. Cyprus has two official languages, Greek and Turkish. English is widely spoken and it features widely on road signs, public notices, and in advertisements, etc. The majority of Greek Cypriots identify as Greek Orthodox, whereas most Turkish Cypriots are adherents of Sunni Islam.
4. Economy, Culture and Tourism
Cyprus has an open, free-market, service-based economy with some light manufacturing. Internationally, Cyprus promotes its geographical location as a "bridge" between East and West, along with its educated English-speaking population, moderate local costs, good airline connections, and telecommunications.
Tourism is an important factor of the island state’s economy, culture, and overall brand development. With over 2 million tourist arrivals per year, it is the 40th most popular destination in the world. According to the “World Economic Forum's 2013 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index”, Cyprus' tourism industry ranks 29th in the world in terms of overall competitiveness. In terms of Tourism Infrastructure, in relation to the tourism industry Cyprus ranks 1st in the world.
In recent years, Cyprus has been sought as a base for several offshore businesses for its low tax rates. Tourism, financial services and shipping are significant parts of the economy. Economic policy of the Cyprus government has focused on meeting the criteria for admission to the European Union. Because of the heavy influx of tourists and foreign investors, the property rental market in Cyprus has grown in recent years. In late 2013, the Cyprus Town Planning Department announced a series of incentives to stimulate the property market and increase the number of property developments in the country's town centers. Meanwhile, abundant reserves of natural gas were discovered and confirmed off the coast of the Cyprus Economic Zone, which may bring certain advantages to the country's future economic development and real estate investment.
As Cyprus has a long history and culture, its civilization dates back to 9,000 BC and is known as a museum for the history of Europe and the Middle East. Since Cyprus focuses on the development of tourism, precious historical and cultural landscapes and places of interest that make it a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean region. Meanwhile, it is also a famous European island resort and as known as the "European Back Garden". Among them, Paphos, which was the European Capital of Culture in southwestern Cyprus, Aphrodite's legendary birthplace was on this island.
5. Education and Livability
Cyprus has the lowest recorded crime rates across the European Union (EU) and well maintained law and order. Cyprus has a highly developed system of primary and secondary education offering both public and private education. The high quality of instruction makes Cyprus one of the top three spenders of education in the EU along with Denmark and Sweden.
Due to relaxed lifestyle, a comfortable living environment, a good education level and a low tax rate, makes Cyprus has been declared the fifth place of most livable city in the world in 2014 by The Knight Frank in the 2014 Global Lifestyle Report.