The government of Cyprus has initiated a New Industrial Policy to attract and develop new high-tech industries, to technologically upgrade traditional local industries, and to attract foreign investment. The country`s entry into the European Union has brought major changes in Cyprus property and immigration laws and the freedom of movement required between EU member states has made it easier for EU citizens to live, work and buy Cyprus property.
A 2003 reform brought the island into the line with EU and OECD requirements, whilst also ensuring that Cyprus remains attractive to outside investors. The uniform corporate tax rate of 10%, for example, is the lowest in the EU, while Cyprus has entered into Double Tax agreements with 40 countries. In view of Cyprus membership of the European Union, it is also important to note that the country is a net contributor to the EU, and fulfils the Maastricht criteria. The Cyprus pound joined the Exchange Rate Mechanism 11 on 29th April 2005 and joined the Euro zone in January 2008.
The island`s EU accession saw the remaining property-purchase restrictions on foreigners lifted. Deposit levels have fallen to a low 15 -20% in some areas, subject to status, which is likely to be more the norm next year, and Swiss franc mortgages are available with rates of just 3.25%.
Sunday Times review on Cyprus Property: “One of the largest islands in the Mediterranean is already moving up Cyprus Property market – and the government believes that “residential tourism” will provide the best way forward”.