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AHI Presented Three West Coast Seminars on "Cyprus: An International Business Center"


June 3, 1998 No. 23/98


In May, The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) presented three breakfast seminars on Cyprus: An International Business Center, sponsored by the Central Bank of Cyprus. The seminars were held in Los Angeles on May 11, San Francisco May 13, and Vancouver, Canada on May 15.

The seminars focus was to address the advantages of Cyprus as an offshore center for companies who want to conduct their regional affairs in a business friendly environment.

In 1975, Cyprus began offering innovative incentives to companies to manage their international business from its shore. Since then, the offshore sector has been booming. Today there are over 30,200 companies managing their regional affairs from Cyprus. Many of the world's leading multinationals have expressed their confidence in Cyprus as an ideal location in which to manage their regional affairs. These include Coca Cola Near East, Reuters, Smithkline Beecham, Moody's, Gateway 2000, and SC Johnson, to name but a few. Nonresidents have established more than 1,065 offshore enterprises with a physical presence in Cyprus. Moreover, 2,733 ships exceeding 26.1 million gross tons are registered under the Cyprus flag.

The following make Cyprus a unique International Business Center:
Government Policy-committed to strengthening Cyprus as an international business and maritime center;
Geographic Location-located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, Cyprus is an ideal place for regional operations;
Tax Incentives-benefits to offshore companies include a low income tax rate of 4.25% and several others;
Double Tax Treaties-ratified with over 26 countries to avoid double taxation and make international tax planning a plus;
Facilities and Support Services-a well-trained and educated work force with fluency in English is among the many factors attracting multinational corporations to Cyprus. The European standard of living, sunny climate, excellent private schools, and crime-free environment help make Cyprus an ideal business hub.

In addition to the three seminars, the AHI organized one-on-one meetings for Andreas Philippou, the Chief Senior Manager of the Central Bank of Cyprus Supervision and Regulation Division.

Meetings were arranged with Bank America in Los Angeles, Union Bank of California in San Francisco, the Hong Kong Bank of Canada in Vancouver, and Chase Manhattan Bank of New York, J.P. Morgan & Bankers Trust in New York.

The Central Bank of Cyprus believes that American/Canadian banks and financial institutions in general are not adequately informed of the business opportunities that exist in Cyprus. Both the seminars and the meetings held with major American and Canadian financial institutions, gave the opportunity to inform officials of the business opportunities that exist in conducting their international affairs through Cyprus.

Because of the existence of an extensive network of treaties for the avoidance of double taxation with 26 countries, including all countries of the former Soviet Union, offshore enterprises established in Cyprus owned by international banking and financial groups can assist in the overall reduction of their group's tax liability. The unique provisions of the Cyprus-Russia Treaty, for example, can be beneficial to those international groups with a presence in Russia and/or to those who undertake extensive investment activities in the Russian capital market.

Interested individuals, who want to learn more about the business opportunities that exist in Cyprus, can contact AHI to receive a free booklet, Cyprus--A Centre For International Business.