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Cyprus applied for Schengen Membership in September

By | Citizenship, Cyprus, Latest Posts

The Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides told the MPs on Monday, November 5, that the government has applied to become part of the Schengen Area earlier in September.

Speaking to the House Committee on Finance, while presenting the proposed budget for 2020, Minister Christodoulides said that the Republic of Cyprus has declared its readiness to become a member of the Schengen Area, and now it is up to the EU to start the evaluation process.

The government has submitted the application for security reasons and we are now expecting the European Union to come and start its evaluation process which is divided in five parts,” Minister Christodoulides said.

Cyprus is one of the four EU but non-Schengen countries, alongside Romania, Bulgaria, and Croatia, the three of which have completed the five-stage evaluation process and are now waiting for admission.

The country has been unable to join the Schengen area so far, due to its territorial division, that has followed the events of 1974, when a coup attempt took place in the island country.  It is, however, part of the European Union since May 2004.  In January 2008 Cypriots started using the Euro as the official currency of the country.

After his speech in front of the MPS, Minister Christodoulides was asked by the MP Marinos Sizopoulos regarding the issue of the Golden Visas granted by the Republic of Cyprus. The Golden visa operated by Cyprus is a scheme that permits foreigners who invest a specific amount of money in the country, to obtain citizenship, and an EU passport at the same time, which grants the holder with the right to move through the whole EU and most other countries located in Europe.

In January 2019, the European Commission had presented a report on investor citizenship and residency schemes operated by a number of EU countries, which identified the risks coming from such schemes as money laundering, tax evasion, and corruption.

Among others, the reports highlighted that in the EU, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Malta were the only countries granting investors with citizenship without the obligation of physical residence. It also outlined the steps that must be taken to address these concerns.

In mid-February, the cabinet of the government of Cyprus approved several changes to the golden visa scheme, in accordance to the EU guidelines, including stricter criteria for applicants, background checks by a specialized foreign firm, and immediate rejection of applicants that have already been rejected from any other EU member.

Christodoulides told Sizopoulos that due to this issue Cyprus has asked the EU to proceed with the first part of the Schengen membership application evaluation so that the country could have access to the EU inside information.

That’s how we can have access to EU inside information so as to strengthen the country’s security in relation to people coming over to Cyprus,” Christodoulides said.

Source: schengenvisainfo.com

How much did the Cypriot passport go up?

By | Latest Posts

The Cypriot passport is still in the top ten of the most powerful passports in the world, having actually gone even a little higher.

In particular, according to the ranking by the Passport Index for 2019, the Cypriot passport is in eighth place, up from tenth in 2018.

The Cypriot passport offers access to 162 countries compared to 157 it used to offer in 2018, winning over eight more countries, for which it grants visa-free access.

More specifically, Cypriot passport holders can travel visa-free to 122 countries, while they will need a visa upon their arrival in 40 countries. On the other hand, they will need a visa to travel to 36 countries.

The rise recorded by the Cypriot passport is impressive, as in 2017 it was in 13th place, with access to 149 countries, while in 2016 it was in 12th, with access to 143 countries. In 2015 it was again in 12th place, offering access to 147 countries.

First and with the highest rise the UAE passport

The most powerful passport is that of the United Arab Emirates, which offers access to 175 countries. Holders of this passport can travel visa-free to 115 countries, while they will need a visa upon their arrival in 60 countries and a visa to travel to 23 countries.

In addition to the first place, the UAE passport is also the one with the highest rise this year, gaining 36 more countries for which it offers visa-free access.

The most powerful passports in the world

In second place are Finland, Luxembourg and Spain offering access to 168 countries.

Denmark, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, Ireland and the US have the third most powerful passport with access to 167 countries.

In fourth place, with access to 166 countries, are the passports of Sweden, Singapore, France, Belgium, Malta, Greece and Norway.

Lithuanian, Icelandic, UK and Canadian passport holders have access to 165 countries.

In sixth place, with access to 164 countries, are the passports of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, New Zealand and Australia.

Those who have a Latvian, Estonian, Polish or Slovak passport have access to 163 countries, whole those with a Malaysian, Romanian or Monegasque passport have access to 161 countries.

The top ten most powerful passports are completed with the Croatian and Bulgarian passports, which offer access to 160 countries.

Source: InBusiness

Non-EU citizens residence permits

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Residence permit is the permission from EU-countries to citizens of non-EU nations (also known as third country nationals) to stay for at least 3 months on the territory.

In line with Eurostat, 18,971 non-EU citizens were granted residence permits by Cyprus, in 2017. Citizens of India and Russia is the majority to which residence permits were granted.

The analysis of the residence permits that were granted to non-EU citizens by Cyprus, in 2017:

India – 4,710 (24.8%)

Russia – 2,883 (15.2%)

Nepal – 1,406 (7.4%)

Philippines – 1,317 (6.9%)

Sri Lanka – 1,200 (6.3%)

Others – 7,455 (39.3%)

Regarding Europe in total, employment opportunities, family reunification and educational opportunities are among the major purposes for issuing permits, according to the report.

The applicants declaring ‘Other reasons’ as their purpose for a residence permit in an EU-country, have the right to stay in that territory, although they are not permitted for work or international protection.

Also, the citizens of Ukraine (662 thousand) were provided with the highest number of permits by EU-nations while, the second highest number was Syrian citizens (223 thousand).

source: Eurostat

cyprus, top50happiestcountries, happiestcountries, happiestcountriesintheworld, happycountries, cyprusdaily, dailymail

Cyprus amongst the happiest countries in Europe!

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Cyprus are amongst the top 50 happiest countries in Europe according to a new index developed by scientists.
The system for judging a nation’s satisfaction is based on official statistics rather than questionnaires answered by some of the population.
Data on a country’s development, freedom, solidarity, justice and peace are measured to build rankings and work out how people can be made happier.
Of 13 countries on which the index was tested, Iceland and Sweden come out on top, with a 76 out of 100 score. Austria places third on 74, and the UK fourth with 69.
Experts hope analysing countries this way could help develop strategies for their countries to improve people’s happiness.
Here is the table:

source: Cyprus Daily


Ministry of Finance: We are going through a promising period for the economy

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Prospective overview at a conference with foreign investors

The Minister of Finance mentioned the government’s actions for turning around the economic state and addressing the challenges in the economy.

The Cypriot economy has entered a new promising period, Finance Minister, Haris Georgiadis, mentioned at the 4th Cyprus International Investors Summit in Limassol, reassuring all 150 and more foreign businessmen and investors for the great prospects Cyprus offers as an investment destination.

In his opening, Mr. Georgiadis recalled the difficulties that the Cypriot economy faced from 2009 to 2014, indicating that “that’s just a history of the past” and that today, Cyprus is one of the fastest growing economies in the EU.

Moving on, Cyprus is enjoying a revival, which is offering business and investment opportunities in all sectors and he noted that by the end of the year and after 5 consecutive years of the economic upturn, it will have added almost 19% to its Gross Domestic Product.

“We have covered the lost ground and we expect the growth rate to remain above 3% annually for at least the next 3 years”, he added.

The Minister of Finance mentioned the government’s actions for turning around the economic state and addressing the challenges in the economy, emphasizing that there is currently a fiscal surplus of 3% of GDP.

He added that we have to maintain this stable financial performance, “because the public debt is admittedly high, as a result of the rescue of the banking system but also of the excessive deficits of the past”.

Among other things, he talked about the fiscal incentives that the Government has adopted over the last year and a half, which, as he said, include measures to encourage Research and Innovation, capital formation and the film industry, as well as loan restructuring measures.

The Minister of Finance noted that all key sectors of the Cypriot economy, such as tourism, shipping, real estate and services are doing very well and that “the production base of the economy is gradually expanding into new territories that include Higher Education, Research and Innovation, natural gas, Renewable Energy Sources and the management of investment funds”.

“It is the government’s job to create conditions of stability and confidence to create a business-friendly environment, allowing the productive forces of the economy, effectively allowing the private sector, to do its job”, he said, adding that “that’s what makes the economic growth sustainable”.

At the same time, Haris Georgiadis noted that the Government is watching the developments in the region, the EE and the world, expressing his concerns about the growing volatility and the growing tensions concerning the world trade and the stand that the free market and the multilateral cooperation must continue to define global relations.

Furthermore, he said that the Government is following closely the Brexit developments and expressed his hope that this would happen on the basis of the EU’s agreement with the United Kingdom, while he pointed out that, otherwise, “we are not panicking since the comparative advantages of the small open economy of Cyprus can mitigate any possible negative effects”.

Conclusively, he reassured the foreign businessmen and investors that the Government remains committed to maintaining the fiscal discipline, but also to continuing to pursue an ambitious reform agenda in order to reinforce our competitiveness and the prospects of our economy.

“This is also my message to you. You must feel secure, welcome and seek the business and investment opportunities that Cyprus has to offer you”, he added.

For his part, the Director of Invest Cyprus, Michalis Michail, welcomed the fact that for the fourth year the conference gathers the interest of investors and businessmen from various sectors, who have the opportunity to see up close the investment-friendly economic environment of Cyprus.

Source: CNA (Cyprus News Agency)

Каким Кипр видят инвесторы

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На конгрессе BEST INVEST, который прошел в Лимассоле 13-14 мая, встретились десятки профессиональных и частных инвесторов и предпринимателей, которые основными направлениями инвестиций рассматривают Кипр. Для того, чтобы дать более детальное представление о ситуации в разных странах мира и о перспективах развития мировой экономики, в рамках BEST INVEST был дан экономический прогноз с фокусом на Кипр и страны, которые конкурируют с Кипром в плане привлечения иностранных инвестиций.

Панельная дискуссия, проходившая в рамках первого пленарного заседания, предоставила возможность каждому участнику высказать своё мнение о будущем Кипра и о его привлекательности на инвестиционном рынке.

Филипп Аммерман, управляющий партнер Navigator Consulting Group, рассмотрел результаты усилий по продвижению Кипра как инвестиционного направления, перспективные секторы экономики страны, риски и пути их нейтрализации.

Яннис Мисирлис, директор и основатель Imperio Group, сообщил, что многие инвесторы проявляют огромный интерес к Кипру, хотя совсем недавно на этом рынке лидировали ОАЭ. Особую привлекательность инвесторы видят в программе получения гражданства Кипра в обмен на инвестиции. В туристическом секторе также наблюдается резкий рост — только по данным системы Аirbnb в 2018 году около 125 тысяч человек посетили Кипр, используя этот портал бронирования.

К беседе присоединился Артём Палеев, управляющий партнёр компании Korpus Prava, отметив, что именно банковский сектор доставляет много неудобств бизнесменам и инвесторам. Например, сегодня гражданину России практически невозможно открыть банковский счёт на Кипре, не являясь резидентом страны. Этим Кипр стал похож на Сингапур, но, в отличие от азиатского города, остров в Средиземноморье ещё не на пике своей инвестиционной привлекательности.

Основатель и генеральный директор Esquire Group Джимми Секстон подтвердил, что инвесторы предпочитают сегодня Кипр Объединённым Арабским Эмиратам. Правовые рамки в стране — одни из лучших в Европе. Именно юрисдикция ЕС так привлекательна для вливания капиталов. Это несомненный плюс Кипра. Однако необходимо поработать над репутацией острова, чтобы он больше не ассоциировался с отмыванием денег и нелегальными транзакциями.

Аджай Гойал, венчурный инвестор из Индии, добавил, что Кипр достигнет уровня Гонконга и Дубая только тогда, когда все бизнес-процессы будут переведены в режим онлайн. Полная прозрачность и квалифицированные системы электронного правительства способны поставить Кипр в один ряд с высокотехнологичными странами мира.

Инвесторы разных стран мира видят будущее Кипра привлекательным для капиталовложений. Имея огромный потенциал, отличное местоположение, возможности для новых стратегических проектов и запасы природных ресурсов, Кипр способен превратиться в один из мировых финансовых и бизнес-центров.

Александра ПОЛЯКОВА

Source: VK Cyprus