*Cyprus offers first-class financial services on the world economic stage
*Government’s legislation strategy attracts international investments
*Corporate or individual, a Cyprus tax base will save you significantly
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.
Koullis Mettis is a living example of Cypriot world vision, qualified through top UK universities in Investment; he spent the past fifteen years managing the global financial picture for businesses and individuals. He acquired an understanding he summarises as:
‘Do things the right way the first time.’
His expertise is pivotal to potential investors, on a local and global level, and underpins the processes of Mutual Trust, of which he is COO. Mutual Trust, part of the Woodbrook Group, is an international Trust and Corporate Services provider that serves the cross-border financial structuring needs of high-net-worth individuals, professional advisors, financial institutions and companies.
Mutual Trust originated in the early 1970s as a family vision and, like the Cypriot vision, has grown into a company that serves clients for generations in with relevant knowledge and expertise almost anywhere in the world to assist cross-border investment, trade and wealth planning. Its acumen marries with the island’s approach, as Mettis explains:
‘The majority of our clients are not based in Cyprus but trade through Cyprus globally.’
What does this mean? You don’t have to set foot in Cyprus to run your company through it. If you do, you will be offered taxation levels that invite profits and dividends, not prevent them. So if you run your business through Cyprus, without ever setting foot on the cleanest beaches in Europe, how much do you as an investor stand to save on your tax bills?
‘A huge amount,’ Mettis states simply. ‘In terms of attitudes and opinions, the corporate sector is welcomed and facilitated. There are big tax advantages.’
His rundown of the history of the island, from achieving independence from Britain in 1960, takes in two financial crashes – one global, one national – and sketches an older, wiser market with a government focused on foreign investment. He has witnessed and facilitated first hand, a marked increase in company registrations – approaching 30% more than the pre-2013 levels. Applicants are from all over the world with Europeans, Israelis and Americans spearheading the direct foreign investment:
‘2013’s fiscal crisis in Greece, coupled with the 2008 global crisis, has created an efficient and more mature market that operates with an element of realism. Services are now offered at the right price. Cyprus, for the foreign investor and the resident, is the right place at the right time.’
Why? Mettis cites a keen 12.5% corporation tax and the Government’s pro-business approach. A new tax scheme, 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.
It has, in short, become the Singapore of Europe, offering a gateway to the entire European region and strong links to Asia and Africa. At the same time, it exceeds the possibilities of the South East Asian business hub by offering a naturalisation programme enabling investors to become citizens, through an accessible and affordable process.
These new 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.
When Mettis meets clients first, he finds they have heard the rumours why Cyprus has more to offer than a sunny fortnight, and he then provides solid reasons. A financial future that is sun-soaked thanks to a small island with a global outlook. The conclusion of business clients is if you want to make certain that a system supports your initiatives, choose a Cypriot base to invest and invoice from. You will certainly get more than a suntan in return.
His team is on hand to make the investment process one that will deal with all aspects of the setup and ensure maximum tax benefits to you.
How Cyprus Supports Investors and Incomes
- Wide network double tax treaties. Corporation tax 12.5%. EU approved Tax Regime.
- Exemption provisions on income emanate from dividends, interest, and sales of security.
- Transparent legal, banking and government systems all supporting business.
- English and Greek national languages. A highly skilled workforce with a global
- Excellent infrastructure coupled with cross-border engagement and provision.
- Stable political and social structure focused on long-term, offering short-term
- Strong geographical position and lifestyle opportunities second to none.