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Basic Information

Area: 9,251 km²

Calling code: +357

Population: 788,457

Official Language: Greek

Time zone: EET (UTC+2), Local time: 18:28


Cyprus is located to the south of Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean and has a population of over 790,000 people.

The capital of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicosia (Lefkosia), is located approximately 20 kilometres inland in the Messaoria Plain and has a population in the region of 200,000 people. All the island's other major cities are on the coast. Limassol (Lemesos) is the second largest city in Cyprus and the island's biggest port, while the popular holiday resorts of Larnaca and Paphos are the third and fourth largest cities respectively. The official language of the Republic is Greek, although English is widely spoken and regularly used in commerce and government.

The service sector now dominates the economy and is responsible for employing about two thirds of the workforce. The tourist industry is particularly important, with other important industries in this sector including finance, insurance and business services. The country's main exports include clothing, footwear and textiles as well as chemicals and citrus fruit, with the majority of trade taking place with EU countries. Lebanon, Egypt, the Gulf States and Libya are also important trading partners.

The island occupies a strategic location at the crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa and has an extensive transport infrastructure. Cyprus has two international airports situated near Larnaca and Paphos, which together cater for over 30 international airlines and more than 400 scheduled flights a week. London can be reached in approximately four and a half hours, while Frankfurt, Paris and Zurich are all less than 4 hours away. The island also benefits from several ports, which have facilities for handling a wide range of cargo, and there are in the region of 100 shipping lines regularly connecting the island to several continents.

Quality of life on the island is excellent, with little pollution, a low crime rate and good housing conditions. The school system is of a high standard and all major towns are home to private schools offering tuition in a variety of languages including English, French, Italian, Armenian and Arabic. In addition, the cost of living is relatively low compared to countries offering a comparable standard of living.
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