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Cyprus Economy


During the fifty years since independence in 1960, Cyprus has been gradually transformed from a mostly closed economy, based on agriculture and mining, into a service-based, export-oriented economy. Independence did not only mark political liberation from British colonial rule, but also freed the creative spirit of the people of Cyprus, especially their entrepreneurial drive. In the early years, agricultural production shifted towards irrigated products for export such as oranges, potatoes, vegetables and grapes, but also animal husbandry for domestic consumption. The first years of industrialisation were concentrated on agricultural processing, soft drinks and tobacco, followed by products for the construction sector, clothing and shoes.
 
Much of this transformation was achieved because of the open character of the economy, notwithstanding a policy of import substitution with relatively high tariff protection. A big step towards openness was made in 1973, when Cyprus signed a Customs Union agreement with the European Economic Community. Becoming part of the Customs Union was the first initiative towards joining the European Union (EU), thirty years later.
 
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16, Annis Komninis, P.O.Box 21480,    1060, Nicosia, Cyprus info@aggeorghiou.com.cy
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