In the 2013 year’s “The Best Countries for Business” survey by international financial publication Forbes, Cyprus has topped the rankings coming first in the “personal freedoms” category, where according to the findings of a recent report, Cyprus is ranked as one of the 30 best business environments in the world.
Out of total 145 countries surveyed, Cyprus was placed 27th overall, the highest position of “all the Balkan countries, of the 2013 year’s annual ranking that is published by Forbes magazine with the best countries for business relationships. Derived from data by the World Bank, World Economic Forum and Transparency International – among others – Forbes’ annual survey for 2012-3 graded investment locations against 11 different criteria, from monetary freedom and low corruption, to investor protection. On all counts, Cyprus scored highly, ranked 5th, 29th and 32nd respectively.
Cyprus has a market economy that is dominated by the service sector, which accounts for four-fifths of GDP. Tourism, financial services, and real estate are the most important sectors of its economy. Erratic growth rates over the past decade reflect the economy’s reliance on tourism, the profitability of which can fluctuate with political instability in the region and economic conditions in Western Europe. Nevertheless, the economy in the area under government control has grown at a rate well above the EU average since 2000. Cyprus joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM2) in May 2005 and adopted the euro as its national currency on 1 January 2008. An aggressive austerity program in the preceding years, aimed at paving the way for the euro, helped turn a soaring fiscal deficit (6.3% in 2003) into a surplus of 1.2% in 2008, and reduced inflation to 4.7%.
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