Though Cyprus has been affected in the past few years by the EU-wide recession, the economy has started a trajectory of modest growth again as of 2015. The free-market island nation has bounced back quite well from the recession, thanks in part to its information and communications sector as well as its business-friendly environment. Recently, giant reserves of natural gas were found off the coast of Cyprus, contributing to the island's healthy long-term economic outlook.
The Cypriot economy relies heavily on tourism, financial services, real estate, food and beverage processing, and maritime industries. GDP per capita averages about $28,000 per person according to a 2014 estimate. The current unemployment rate is hovering around 15.6%.
Even though the Cypriot economy has started to grow again, a 15.6% unemployment rate means finding a job is still difficult even for Cypriot locals. In addition, the fact that most of Cyprus' population is already English-speaking and highly educated means that there is less demand for foreign high-skilled workers than in other countries of similar economic status.
The job market is easier to enter for EU citizens, who are allowed to work in Cyprus with no restrictions. Non-EU citizens must register with the Civil Registry and Migration Department (CRMD). Even though English is a requirement for most jobs in Cyprus, some knowledge of Greek is also required, so take care to learn the language before moving.
Most jobs for expats are in the tourist sector, but they are seasonal and give low wages.
As the country's capital, Nicosia is the financial and business center of Cyprus. Not only are all the local Cypriot banks headquartered in Nicosia, including Bank of Cyprus, Hellenic Bank, and Cyprus Popular Bank, but plenty of international businesses working in Cyprus have established bases in Nicosia as well. Fortune 500 firms like Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PWC, and KPMG have offices in the city.
Even though incomes in Cyprus are somewhere between middle and high income, Nicosia itself is the wealthiest per capita city of the Eastern Mediterranean and in 2011 was ranked the tenth richest city in the world in terms of purchasing power.
Besides the abundance of financial services within the city, Nicosia relies primarily on the tourism and shipping Industries. Though Nicosia is not a port (the closest port is Limassol), plenty of shipping companies have offices in the capital. Since Cyprus is at a strategic location for commerce between Europe and the Middle East, shipping is a major focus in the capital.
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