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Cyprus: Ripe for Investment



Cyprus: Ripe for Investment

Large-scale projects, privatisations and a burgeoning oil and gas sector are firmly placing Cyprus on the map as a hotspot for investment. The island’s improved credit standing, after consecutive upgrades by international credit rating agencies, successful bond issues, raising over €2 billion in international markets, and numerous large-scale projects have all contributed to the resurgence of Cyprus as a preferred foreign direct investment (FDI) location. Recognising the growing interest, Cyprus has focused on streamlining processes and was ranked in the ten economies with the most notable improvement in upgrading the business environment, climbing 13 places in the rankings of the World Bank’s 2016 Doing Business Report. Already recognised as a popular tourist destination and a business hub servicing international companies with multinational operations, the island is growing its investment appeal with more incentives and improvements to its FDI framework – making this a ripe time to invest. A key development in 2016 is the launch of Cyprus’ first-ever Science and Technology Park (STP), which provides strategic investors with an interesting opportunity to finance, design, build and manage the landmark project. Cyprus’ hydrocarbons find has captured the attention of several global energy companies, such as Eni, Kogas and Total, who have all secured exploration licences. The country’s energy sphere saw yet another boost in November 2015, with British oil and gas company BG Group acquiring a 35% stake in Cyprus’ offshore Block 12. US-company Noble Energy made the world-class natural gas discovery in 2011, and so far has confirmed reserves of 4.54 trillion cubic feet (tcf) in just one of the 12 offshore blocks. Further exploration is expected in 2016 and 2017, with oil deposit discoveries also a possibility. Cyprus’ aim of becoming a regional energy hub in the Eastern Mediterranean also opens up opportunities for more oil and gas related business, and for investors to use Cyprus as a base to service their clients in the region.

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