Business support - Cyprus
The Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) offers Cypriot businesses an array of services and facilities: e.g. support to SMEs, trade missions to other countries, training programs and seminars, advice on EU-related matters.
It also offers information on business relationships, certification of origin and ATA carnets; provides arbitration in business disputes; is represented in various governmental committees; and publishes a monthly newsletter and business guide.
The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism is involved in activities and deals with issues of particular interest to the commercial and industrial world, and has an obligation and duty to provide adequate information to any interested citizen.
Prior to the establishment of any laws, regulations, schemes or plans affecting the commercial and industrial world, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism requests that its organisations provide their views. In continuation and after making the final decisions on various relevant aspects, the Ministry:
- Immediately informs entrepreneur organisations in writing.
- Issues the relevant notices published and broadcast in the press and the media respectively.
- Prepares the relevant brochures.
- Presents and analyses government policy during various entrepreneur meetings organised by their associations as well as other organisations and institutions.
Aiming to provide assistance and support to SMEs, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism also operates the following services:
The Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency is a non-profit private limited company, the sole member of which is the Cyprus Government. The Agency aims to effectively promote Cyprus as an international business and investment centre and attract foreign direct investment in targeted areas.
The Agency provides professional assistance to companies based abroad and wishing to explore investment prospects in Cyprus. It also provides post investment services to international companies already based in Cyprus.
The One-Stop Shop is a modern institution which aims to accelerate, to the maximum extent possible, the procedures required to set up a business in Cyprus. The Service can be used by both foreign and Cypriot investors.
The Service provides six different services, thus reducing bureaucracy and reducing the time spent to set up a company. The following services are offered:
- Guidance/ services to Cypriot and foreign investors
- Registration of a company in Cyprus
- Registration under the Value Added Tax Registry
- Registration for Income Tax
- Application for the issuance of residence and work permits in Cyprus
Appropriate measures have been taken in order to significantly decrease, to one week, the average time needed to set up a business, especially a small or medium-size business.
In promoting investment, the Ministry is also responsible for speeding up licensing procedures for businesses, investment proposals of which meet the necessary criteria.
The Human Resources Development Agency of Cyprus (HRDA) is an organisation governed by public law that reports to the Government through the competent Minister, who is, by law, the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance. It is administered by a 13 member Board of tripartite character with representatives of the Government, Employers and Trade Unions.
The HRDA's mission is to create conditions for the planned and systematic training and development of human resources of Cyprus, at all levels and in all sectors, to meet the needs of the economy within the social and economic policies.
The HRDA's strategic goals for the 2007-2013 programme period include:
- Upgrading the country's human resources through continuous and life-long training and learning of employees, new entrants to the employment market, the unemployed, inactive female human resources and persons of low specialisation and older persons, in order to enable them to be employed throughout the European area.
- Improvement of productivity and reinforcement of competitiveness of Cypriot enterprises through better utilisation of human resources and improved adaptability.
In order to achieve its main strategic pursuits, strategic targeting is promoted in specific priorities:
- Human resources training and development: Focused Lifelong Learning actions for Employees and Incorporation / Reincorporation of selected human resources target groups to the Labour Market.
- Enterprise support to upgrade their Human Resources: Multiple forms of supportive human resources services to enterprises to increase investments in human resources and improve enterprise productivity.
- Infrastructures and Systems for the Development of Human Resources: Promotion of training quality and development of human resources by Reinforcing Training Infrastructure and the Establishment of a National Professional Qualifications System.
Special targets are set for specific projects, co-funded by the European Social Fund and the HRDA, two of which concern SMEs:
- Improvement of competitiveness of Small Enterprises employing 1-4 persons
The project enables every participating company to determine and select the appropriate targets and actions to boost their competitiveness.
- Improvement of productivity of SMEs employing 5 - 249 persons
The project enables every participating enterprise to have a true perception of its existing position in terms of its competitors and gain a practical tool to improve productivity and utilise of its human resources.
Access to finance is crucial for setting up and running a business.
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