Cyprus – Water is Precious
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, located south of Turkey. It has an estimated population of 1.1 million and the capital is Nicosia. The island is divided into two parts, with Cypriot Turks to the north and Greek Cypriots to the south. According to legend, Cyprus was the birthplace of Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love, but the island has had a turbulent history, dominated by disagreements between its Greek and Turkish inhabitants.
Cyprus is popular as a base for several offshore businesses due to its low tax rates. Tourism, financial services and shipping are significant parts of the economy. The Cypriot government adopted the euro as the national currency on 1 January 2008.
Cyprus suffers from a shortage of water. The country relies heavily on rain to provide household water, and for many years now the average annual rainfall has been decreasing, while demand has increased annually – a result of local population growth, foreigners moving to Cyprus and the number of visiting tourists. The Government has invested heavily in the creation of water desalination plants which have supplied almost 50 per cent of domestic water since 2001.
There is still room for improvement regarding to the gender equality Cyprus women experience in the workforce. Women hold 14.4% of high posts, yet are paid on average 24% less per hour compared to their male counterparts.
The Cypriot business culture is hierarchical. Cypriots are extremely respectful of hierarchy, which can be traced through back to their two main religions, Islam in Turkish Cyprus and Greek Orthodox in Greek Cyprus. They prefer face-to-face meetings rather than doing business by telephone or in writing, which are regarded as too impersonal. Once a relationship has developed, their loyalty will be to you personally rather than to the company you represent.
Share your Cyprus business experiences
Sources: Wikipedia, Kwintessential, BBC.co.uk