Location and Population
Cyprus, with an area of 9.251 sq km and coordinates at 35 N and 33 E, lies at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia at the crux of the busy shipping and air routes linking the three continents.
The population of Cyprus is about 860 000. The capital of Cyprus is Lefkosia (Nicosia), situated in the heart of the island with a population of approximately 336 000. The second largest city is Lemesos (Limassol), on the south coast with a population of approximately 240 000 and the island’s major port. Larnaca and Paphos are the third and fourth largest cities, each with a new airport, situated on the south east and south west coasts respectively.
Since 1960 Cyprus is an independent state member of the United Nations, with a presidential system of government. The executive authority is vested in the President who is elected for a five year term by universal vote, and exercised by a Council of Ministers appointed by the President. The legislative authority is exercised by the House of Representatives. House members are elected by universal vote every five years. The administration of Justice is exercised by the Judiciary, which is a separate and independent body.
Cyprus is a member of many international organisations including the United Nations (1960), the Council of Europe (1961), the Commonwealth (1961), the World Bank (1962), the International Monetary Fund (1962), the World Trade Organization (1995), and the European Union (2004). Cyprus is represented through diplomatic missions in over 40 countries.
Language and Education
The official languages in Cyprus are Greek and Turkish. English is widely spoken by the local population and used mostly in international business communications.Cyprus has a young, well-educated talent pool. The country is committed to education and is focusing on reforms to achieve sustainable growth.
There are 339 public and 29 private primary schools and 127 public and 39 private secondary schools (2010/11). In the higher education there are two public and five private Universities. In addition, more than 30 colleges offer more than 200 accredited study programs at tertiary level.
Cyprus has a comprehensive, modern and forward looking legal and regulatory framework. It is based on the Common Law legal system that is widely recognised as highly reliable and effective. As a member of the European Union, Cyprus has also harmonised its legalisation with the European Union Legal Order.
The local infrastructure is ideally suited for businesspeople who need to get things done. Thanks to its modern road network, extensive port facilities and two new international airports, travel and transport in and beyond Cyprus is fast, efficient and economical.
Considerable investment has been made into transforming the island into a major telecommunications hub in the region, through an extensive cable and satellite network.