Cyprus - Commerce and Industry
Textile is the most important product for export, followed by potatoes,
shoes, cement and raw materials. Furthermore canned fruit, wine,
vegetables and olive oil is being exported. Most important export
countries are Greece, the United Kingdom and the Arabic countries. In
1998 export was good for 1.1 billion dollar.
But the trade balance chronically shows a deficit because
Cyprus has to
import many products, being a small island. In 1998 it had to import for
3.5 billion dollar. Mainly these products are foods, oil and oil
products, machines and chemical products. Main import countries are the
United Kingdom, the USA, Germany, Greece and Italy.
Cyprus has been
linked to the European Union since 1973 by an Association Agreement
which provides for the establishment of a customs union in two stages.
This agreement contains arrangements on trade, financial and technical
cooperation which are to be applied for the benefit of the entire
population of the island. The first stage provided for the phased
reduction of tariffs on industrial goods and agricultural products.
After the invasion in 1974 this arrangement was only valid for the Greek
The commerce in the Turkish part is concentrated on Turkey. In 1998 it
exported for 63.9 million dollar and imported for the amount of 374
The industry was heavily damaged by the events of 1974. The Greek part
however, which had lost 70% of its production capacity, recovered
quickly and flourishes again.
Growth of the construction industry was
considerable as a result of the thriving tourism. Apartments, holiday
bungalows and hotels were build everywhere.
There is almost no heavy industry. Most companies have at most 5
employees and mainly agricultural products are processed.
important branches are the food sector, shoes-, textile-, paper- and
tobacco-industry. In the cities there are a lot of one-person companies.
The biggest part of the processing industry is concentrated in the area
around Nicosia and Limassol.