The history of Cyprus is one of the oldest recorded in the world.  From ancient times, Cyprus’ historical significance far outweighed its small size. Its strategic position at the crossroads of three continents, as well as its considerable suppliers of copper and timber combined, lead to make the island a highly desirable territorial acquisition.

According to the Zurich – London agreements, Cyprus became an independent republic on 16 August 1960.  As an independent country, it became a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Commonwealth and the Non-Aligned Movement. The Cyprus economy can generally be described as small, open and dynamic, with the service sector being the driving force behind it. Since its accession to the European Union on the 1st of May 2004, Cyprus has undergone significant economic and structural reforms that have changed the economic landscape. Interest rates have been released, while price controls and investment restrictions have been lifted by fully liberalizing foreign direct investment in Cyprus. In addition, other wider-ranging structural reforms, covering the competition, financial and business sectors, have been promoted.

The Cyprus economy can generally be described as small, open and dynamic, with the service sector being the driving force behind it. Since its accession to the European Union on 1st of May 2004, Cyprus has undergone significant economic and structural reforms that have changed the economic landscape. Interest rates have been released, while price controls and investment restrictions have been lifted by fully liberalizing foreign direct investment in Cyprus. In addition, other wider-ranging structural reforms, covering the competition, financial and business sectors, have been promoted.

 

The service sector is the fastest-growing sector and its GNP contribution for 2011 is around 80.5%. This development reflects the gradual transformation of the Cypriot economy from an exporter of minerals and agricultural products in the period 1961-73 and an exporter of processed goods during the last part of the 1970s and early 80s in an international tourist, of services in the 1980s, 90s, and 2000s. The secondary sector (industry) offered around 17.1% of GDP in 2011. The primary sector (agriculture and fisheries) is constantly shrinking and has just reached 2, 4% of GDP in 2011.

The Cypriot economy is open, as shown by the share of total imports and exports on GDP, which reached about 90% in 2011. Cyprus' most important trading partners are the EU Member States, particularly Greece and the United States Kingdom, two countries that have been seriously affected by the economic crisis.

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