The commercial infrastructure of Cyprus is well-developed. It offers a civilised and respectable environment, in which pleasant working and accommodation conditions combine with low operating costs and living expenses.
There are many well-qualified lawyers experienced in company law and tax planning. All the major international accounting firms have offices in Cyprus as well as many engineering, insurance, trust and ship management companies. Furthermore, there is an ample supply of university graduates who are available to work in all sectors of the economy.
The English legal system, practice and procedures which the island acquired during the period of British rule are firmly embodied in the fabric of almost every commercial sector. As these procedures are used in most English speaking countries, they are usually readily understood by foreigners who have registered companies or are engaged in international tax planning exercises in the island. Although the official languages of the Republic are Greek and Turkish, English is spoken by the majority of the population. It is taught extensively in schools and is widely used in commerce, industry and administration.
Telecommunications in Cyprus are of a high standard and Cyprus prides itself as one of the most developed countries in this area. Audiotex, video conferencing, videotext, electronic mail, message handling system X.400 and voice mail services are also available.
Cyprus is served by two international airports at Larnaca and Paphos both of which have recently been expanded and modernised to the highest international standards. Both airports handle about 360 scheduled flights operated each week by 33 international airlines, as well as flights by charter airlines. As a result of this, the island is rapidly becoming a major international transit station for commercial air transport. Seaborne traffic is served by the two multi-purpose ports of Limassol and Larnaca which are being used increasingly as regional warehouse, distribution and container transhipment centres. About 100 shipping lines include Cyprus in their regular schedules to and from six continents. More than 5,500 ships totalling 15 million net registered tonnes call at Cypriot ports every year.