The Cyprus economy is enjoying sustained and higher than anticipated growth. Recent economic reports have added weight to President Nicos Anastasiades' declaration that Cyprus is ‘immune’ to the crisis in neighbouring Greece. In all respects the prospects for the Mediterranean island’s economy are looking extremely encouraging.
Cyprus' six-monthly fiscal policy report, published on August 19, revealed the country recorded 1.0% positive economic growth for the first two consecutive quarters of 2015. This figure exceeded earlier 0.4% growth projections. The government has stated that further projections show 2015 will show an even more impressive growth set of figures.
The positive trend has been building steadily. In 2014 property sales rose by 20% and that figure was augmented by a further 14% rise in Q1 of 2015. Tourist figures are rising steadily - up 13.7% on 2014 figures - and the overall level of economic activity and hence stability are increasing by the day. The Cypriot economy has been uprated no fewer than eight times in recent months by the international rating agencies, an opinion clearly shared by the international markets where Cypriot bond yields have been downgraded to a near record 3% (from a high of 14%).
Citizenship by Investment appeal
These encouraging economic conditions are seeing increased numbers of applications for the Cypriot Citizenship by Investment scheme whereby wealthy individuals can achieve Cypriot citizenship by means of a €500,000 investment in Cypriot property in addition to a further series of investment requirements.
Given the potential for a direct return on investments within Cyprus itself - over and above the EU wide entitlements which Cypriot citizenship allows - the attractions of the scheme are obvious. Status as a Cyprus citizen allows the holder the right to live, work, invest, reside and travel freely throughout the EU.
The positive economic outlook is seeing Cyprus becoming eyed increasingly as something more than simply a convenient route to EU citizenship. As President Nicos Anastasiades is keen to insist, Cyprus is now emerging as an attractive economic centre in its own right.