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Economy of Cyprus

The economy of Cyprus is classified by the World Bank as a high-income economy, and was included by the International Monetary Fund in its list of advanced economies in 2001. Erratic growth rates in the 1990s reflected the economy's vulnerability to swings in tourist arrivals, caused by political instability on the island and fluctuations in economic conditions in Western Europe.

On 1 January 2008, the country adopted the euro as its official currency, replacing the Cypriot pound at an irrevocable fixed exchange rate of CYP 0.585274 per EUR 1.00.

The 2012-13 Cypriot financial crisis, part of the wider European debt crisis, has dominated the country's economic affairs in recent times. In March 2013, the Cypriot government reached an agreement with its eurozone partners to split the country's second biggest bank, the Cyprus Popular Bank (also known as Laiki Bank), into a "bad" bank which would be wound down over time and a "good" bank which would be absorbed by the larger Bank of Cyprus. In return for a €10 billion bailout from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the Cypriot government would be required to impose a significant haircut on uninsured deposits Insured deposits of €100,000 or less would not be affected. After a three-and-a-half-year recession, Cyprus returned to growth in the first quarter of 2015. Cyprus successfully concluded its three-year financial assistance programme at the end of March 2016, having borrowed a total of €6.3 billion from the European Stability Mechanism and €1 billion from the IMF. The remaining €2.7 billion of the ESM bailout was never dispensed, due to the Cypriot government's better than expected finances over the course of the programme.Trade is vital to the Cypriot economy—the island is not self-sufficient in food and until the recent offshore gas discoveries had few known natural resources—and the trade deficit continues to grow. Cyprus must import fuels, most raw materials, heavy machinery, and transportation equipment. More than 50% of its trade is with the rest of the European Union, especially Greece and the United Kingdom, while the Middle East receives 20% of exports.

Sectors

Finance

In the years following the dissolution of the Soviet Union it gained great popularity as a portal for investment from the West into Russia and Eastern Europe. More recently, there have been increasing investment flows from the West through Cyprus into Asia(particularly China and India), South America and the Middle East.

Energy

Noble Energy has estimated that a pipeline could be in operation as soon as 2014 or 2015. Surveys suggest more than 100 trillion cubic feet (2.831 trillion cubic metres) of reserves lie untapped in the eastern Mediterranean basin between Cyprus and Israel - almost equal to the world's total annual consumption of natural gas.

Shipping

Cyprus constitutes one of the largest ship management centers in the world; around 50 ship management companies and marine-related foreign enterprises are conducting their international activities in the country while the majority of the largest ship management companies in the world have established fully fledged offices on the island.

Tourism

Tourism is an important factor of the island state's economy, culture, and overall brand development. With over 2 million tourist arrivals per year, it is the 40th most popular destination in the world. However, per capita of local population it ranks 6th. The industry has been honored with various international awards, spanning from the Sustainable Destinations Global Top 100, VISION on Sustainable Tourism, Totem Tourism and Green Destination titles bestowed to Limassol and Paphos in December 2014.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of Cyprus"

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