Why Cyprus is the right place at the right time for in­vestors

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - OPINION - By Michael Do­herty

Cyprus has a rich his­tory, great cli­mate and out­stand­ing scenery, a ver­i­ta­ble Mediter­ranean haven for hol­i­day­mak­ers. But it is also a sig­nif­i­cant and grow­ing player on the world eco­nomic stage – of­fer­ing fi­nan­cial and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties as glow­ing as its cul­tural past.

For mil­len­nia Cyprus’ strate­gic po­si­tion gave it strong trade links to three con­ti­nents. Its land­mass might be tra­versed in ninety min­utes flat, but it has two in­ter­na­tional air­ports, two ports and trade, ac­tual or in­tel­lec­tual, is its chief bias. Now it is a ser­vice-based econ­omy, but with the vi­sion of the an­cient mariners.

The eco­nomic fu­ture and cur­rent com­mer­cial pos­si­bil­i­ties are forged in a dy­namic ap­proach that has seen its rep­u­ta­tion as an in­ter­na­tional busi­ness hub, with strong com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tages, matched by a will­ing ef­fi­cient state and le­gal sys­tem that mar­ries with the en­trepreneurial in­stinct and vi­sion of its busi­ness sec­tor.

The prac­ti­cal­i­ties of busi­ness start-up, growth and con­tin­u­ance are met with a full un­der­stand­ing that a small is­land can have a def­i­nite ad­van­tage over big­ger Euro­pean na­tions with un­yield­ing and un­wieldy bu­reau­cratic struc­tures.

The 2013 fis­cal cri­sis in Cyprus, cou­pled with the 2008 global melt­down, has cre­ated an ef­fi­cient and more ma­ture mar­ket that op­er­ates with an el­e­ment of re­al­ism. Ser­vices are now of­fered at the right price.

For many for­eign in­vestors and res­i­dents, Cyprus is the right place at the right time. Cyprus’ highly com­pet­i­tive 12.5% cor­po­ra­tion tax and the gov­ern­ment’s pro-busi­ness ap­proach in­creased trans­parency in the le­gal sys­tem which is fo­cused on the re­moval of in­ter­nal and in­ter­na­tional trade bar­ri­ers, to­gether with a sim­pli­fied ad­min­is­tra­tion have led to strong GDP growth with more fore­cast.

These in­cen­tives, forged in the fires of cri­sis, have cre­ated op­por­tu­ni­ties and in­creased ac­tiv­ity in all in­dus­tries from tourism to trade. EU pass­port hold­ers are en­ti­tled to en­ter, re­side, study and work in the Euro­pean Union, and all coun­tries linked to the Euro­pean Eco­nomic Area. Nat­u­ral­i­sa­tion can take as lit­tle as three months. With the Cypriot pass­port be­ing re­garded as the ninth best to hold in the world, the rea­sons for this are man­i­fest in in­vest­ment po­ten­tial as well as visa-free travel to al­most 170 coun­tries and ac­cess to res­i­dency in an EU state.

Mu­tual Trust, part of the Wood­brook Group, orig­i­nated in the early 1970s as a fam­ily vi­sion and, like the Cypriot vi­sion, has grown into a com­pany that serves clients for gen­er­a­tions with rel­e­vant knowl­edge and ex­per­tise al­most any­where in the world to as­sist cross-bor­der in­vest­ment, trade and wealth plan­ning. Its acu­men mar­ries the is­land’s ap­proach. We pro­vide a vast ar­ray of cor­po­rate so­lu­tions for clients, in­clud­ing com­pany reg­u­la­tion, trust for­ma­tion, in­vest­ment and wealth plan­ning as well as an ac­count­ing, tax and le­gal ser­vices. We help clients to open bank ac­counts and guide them through the cit­i­zen­ship process.

The ma­jor­ity of our clients are not based in Cyprus but trade through Cyprus glob­ally. So, if you run your busi­ness through Cyprus, with­out ever set­ting foot on the clean­est beaches in Eu­rope, you can still stand to save a huge amount on your tax bill.

How Cyprus sup­ports in­vestors and in­comes

Wide net­work dou­ble tax treaties. Cor­po­ra­tion tax 12.5%. EU ap­proved tax regime.

Ex­emp­tion pro­vi­sions on in­come div­i­dends, in­ter­est, and sales of se­cu­rity.

Trans­par­ent le­gal, bank­ing and gov­ern­ment sys­tems sup­port­ing busi­ness.

English and Greek na­tional lan­guages. A highly work­force with a global ap­proach.

Ex­cel­lent in­fra­struc­ture cou­pled en­gage­ment and pro­vi­sion.

Sta­ble po­lit­i­cal and so­cial struc­ture fo­cused on long-term, of­fer­ing short-term gains.

Strong geo­graph­i­cal po­si­tion and sec­ond to none.

em­anate

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life­style op­por­tu­ni­ties Michael Do­herty is CEO of the Wood­brook Group in Li­mas­sol. Tel: +357 25272820 www.wood­brook­group.com con­tact@wood­brook­group.com

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