What is the economy in Cyprus

The economy in Cyprus

Our Foreign Trade Center in Athens has summarized the most important information about the Cypriot economy for you

Economic situation

The Cypriot economy was able to overcome the severe financial crisis of 2012 - 2013 brilliantly. An economic adjustment program imposed on the country from 2013 to 2016 showed rapid success. Since 2015, the gross domestic product has recorded extremely strong growth. According to the last flash estimate by CySTAT, the economy grew in 2019 seasonally adjusted by + 3.2% (+ 0.8% in the quarter). Cyprus thus retains its first place among the fastest growing economies in Europe from the previous year.

The positive development of the gross domestic product was particularly supported by strong domestic demand in 2019. The Economic Assessment Indicator (ESICypERC) rose by 3.3 points in January 2020 compared to December 2019, according to the Economic Research Center of the University of Cyprus. The increase is primarily due to the increased confidence of companies in the service sector.

According to CySTAT, 3.976 million tourists came to Cyprus in 2019. Although this means only a small increase of +1.0% compared to the 3.938 million from the previous year, it was still a new record.

Special developments

In November 2019, Cyprus awarded a 25-year concession to the “Aphrodite” gas field to the Delek Drilling-Noble Energy-Royal Dutch consortium. It is the first commercial license signed by the Mediterranean island. The funding is to start in 2025 and bring the state around 9 billion euros over 18 years. The plan is to transport the gas via an underwater pipeline to an LNG plant in Idku in Egypt and then to Europe and international markets.

On January 2nd, 2020 the heads of state of Cyprus, Greece and Israel signed an agreement in Athens on the construction of the EastMed pipeline. It could reduce the EU's dependence on Russian gas.

Economic relations with Austria

According to preliminary, most recently available data from Statistics Austria, Austrian goods exports to Cyprus fell by -7.5% to EUR 67.0 million in the period January-November 2019.

The Athens Foreign Trade Center is also at your disposal for information and personal advice: Just send an email or give us a call.

Statistics: country profile

The Cyprus country profile of AUSSENWIRTSCHAFT AUSTRIA and the Statistics Department provides a brief overview of the most important statistical data on the economy, politics and society.

You can find important economic and basic data and information for a large number of other countries on the respective country pages and in the overview of country profiles worldwide.

Main sectors of the Foreign Trade Center & business opportunities for Austrian companies

Agriculture and fish farming

Greek agriculture and fish farming is one of the sectors least affected by the crisis. Most recently it contributed 3.7% to the Greek GDP with a gross value added totaling 6.7 billion euros. Due to its close ties with the country's most important industry - the food industry - it is one of the growth engines of the Greek economy.

Greece imports agricultural products from all over the world (around € 4.4 billion in 2017), but mainly from its EU partners. The market leaders are the Netherlands, followed by Germany, Bulgaria and France. Austria has a share of around 1.1%. The national market concentration is increasing. The ten companies with the highest turnover account for almost 60% of total turnover, which is around 1.3 billion euros.

A major social trend is the fact that the young people of Greece are drawn back to their villages. This creates a new generation of well-trained farmers with a keen business acumen.

Opportunities for Austrian companies

Greece has great production potential, not least because of its geographical location and ideal climatic conditions. As a result of the current socio-economic conditions, Austrian companies also have objective market opportunities in the Greek agricultural sector. The current market structure - many small businesses with low productivity, primitive product standardization and barely existing branding - is internationally competitive to a limited extent. Investments in increasing production capacity to achieve economies of scale are now urgently needed.

Are you looking for more detailed information on the agricultural sector? Contact the Athens Foreign Trade Center.

Food / soft drinks

The Greek food and beverage industry has developed positively again overall in recent years. The total value in 2016 was 9.1 billion euros (+ 0.9% compared to 2015). Food accounts for more than 87% of the production volume sold (7.9 billion euros, + 1.4%). Beverage production came in at 1.2 billion euros (-2.8%). The most important products of the Greek food industry in terms of value are: Cheese - especially feta, milk and cream, wheat flour, yoghurt and olives. The dominant beverage products are: beer, soft drinks - mainly cola type, mineral water, wine and liqueurs / other spirits - with ouzo as the most important subheading. The total sales potential of the Greek food and beverage sector is estimated at 15.1 billion euros annually.

The sector comprises 678 companies with published business figures for 2016. Consolidated total sales are 9.6 billion euros. The 20 companies with the highest turnover account for 39.1% of total turnover. The market concentration increased significantly compared to 2015 (35.6%). The market leaders are Coca-Cola (annual sales: 412 million euros) and Nestle (378 million euros). This is followed by the Greek poultry producer Nitsiakos (302 million euros), Soya Hellas (252 million euros), the dairy product manufacturer Delta Foods (239 million euros) and the Athenian Brewery (230 million euros) in the other top positions.

Almost all international food trends find their way into Greek society. Organic food, however, is perceived more as “healthy” and less as “organic”. Particularly high hopes are placed on the global health trend of the "Mediterranean diet", where Greek foods play a leading role. Increased market concentration, driven by mergers and acquisitions, is expected in the food and beverage sector. By merging individual companies under common brand names, economies of scale in production, cost reductions and more targeted marketing strategies could be guaranteed. Accordingly, moderate growth rates can be expected over the next five years.

Opportunities for Austrian companies

The Greek food and beverage industry has traditionally been a good target market for deliveries of Austrian machines, devices and know-how transfers. Due to the current economic situation, Austrian companies have objective opportunities to invest directly in the Greek food and beverage industry. Increases in production capacity to achieve economies of scale are now urgently needed. It is therefore advisable to purchase and expand or modernize existing standardization systems where Austrian companies have enormous know-how. Another aspect that can be expanded is the packaging. This creates opportunities for the Austrian packaging and design industry.

Are you looking for more detailed information on the food / soft drinks industry? Contact the Athens Foreign Trade Center.

Software & ΙΤ / Telecommunications (ICT)

Despite all the difficulties in the recent past, the Greek IT / software and startup scene has had some international success stories (e.g. Taxibeat, Workable