The industry traditionally has no strong position in Cyprus, where agriculture has characterized the business world into the present and where the transition has gone directly from agriculture to the service sector.
After all, Greek Cypriots have expanded the industry considerably since the 1974 divide, but most industries are small. Most people are engaged in the production of clothing, shoes, food and wine.
Most important, however, is the construction industry, which has flourished periodically since the division of the island in 1974. After the turn of the millennium, there is, among other things, an increased demand for private holiday homes for foreigners.
Capital-intensive production in high technology has also been encouraged, while domestic crafts such as embroidery and silversmithing are still practiced professionally.
In the northern Turkish Cypriot part of Cyprus there are small-scale industries that produce consumer goods and certain electrical goods. The international economic blockade against northern Cyprus until 2003 created great difficulties (see Economy). Other problems have been lack of capital and trained labor.
- COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of Cyprus. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.
Cyprus is withdrawing citizenship for Cambodians
Following reports in news media that relatives and friends of Cambodia’s authoritarian head of government Hun Sen have acquired Cypriot citizenship, the government decides to withdraw these so-called “golden passports”. The Cambodian top officials and relatives of Hun Sen in 2016 and 2017 should have used Cyprus’s initiative to provide citizenship in exchange for investment being made in the country. Also, a Malaysian businessman suspected of embezzling money from a state investment fund in Malaysia has been granted citizenship through the initiative. Cyprus has been pressured by the EU to reform the program, which is believed to have helped criminal leagues establish themselves in the Union. In February 2019, the government also tightened the rules for obtaining citizenship. It was during the 2013 economic crisis that Cyprus began its citizenship program.
The EU plans sanctions on Turkey
EU countries agree to impose sanctions on Turkey if the country does not interrupt its drilling for natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean off Cyprus. The sanctions should, if they are introduced, impose travel bans and freeze assets for companies and individuals. The discovery of natural gas off the coast of Cyprus has led to increasing tensions between Cyprus and Turkey.
Cyprus again condemns Turkey for drilling
After Turkey sent another vessel to drill for gas in the Cyprus Economic Sea Zone, the Government of Cyprus makes a statement strongly condemning Turkish action. According to the government of Nicosia, the new planned drilling is “a sharp escalation of Turkey’s continued violations of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus” (see also July 15).
EU sanctions in support of Cyprus
EU foreign ministers agree on sanctions against Turkey for what is seen as illegal drilling for gas in the Mediterranean, in the economic zone of Cyprus. Among other things, EU funding for Turkey 2020 will be limited and negotiations on a new air transport agreement may be halted. Ministers urge the European Central Bank (ECB) to review its loans to Turkey and consider personal sanctions on executives involved in test drilling. Turkey claims to protect its own and Turkish Cypriot interests in gas supplies – the Turkish Cypriot part of the island is not covered by the rights that Cyprus has as an EU country.
The largest party in the EU elections
The governing Democratic Assembly (Disy) wins the European Parliament elections by a marginal margin of about 29 percent over the leftist Akel, which gets about 27 percent. The two parties thus retain their two mandates in Parliament. For the first time, a Turkish Cypriot candidate for Akel will also be elected to the European Parliament.
The government of Northern Cyprus is falling
Tufan Erhürman’s coalition government resigns after the People’s Party withdraws from the cooperation. Instead, Ersin Tatar from the main opposition party UBP gets the assignment to form government of President Akincis.
Large gas discovery discovered
A large natural gas deposit is found off the coast of Cyprus south of Limassol. It is the US energy giant Exxon Mobil, which has drilled for oil in Cyprus’s economic sea zone since the fall of 2018, who makes the bargain. The gas discovery is one of the largest found in the world in the last two years and Cyprus’s largest ever. It is somewhere between 140 and 230 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
Regional gas forum is formed
Seven countries in the eastern Mediterranean agree to establish regional cooperation on gas extraction, with the Cairo office. Those behind the Eastern Mediterranean gas forum, which will be the organization’s name, are Jordan, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and the Palestinian Authority. Natural gas has been found in several places in the eastern Mediterranean in recent years and some of the countries already have bilateral extraction agreements.