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Cyprus Island Information Areas Limassol

Limassol, the second largest city of the island is situated on the southern part of Cyprus, emerged out of two of the most important ancient city-kingdoms, Amathus, to the east of the town, and Kourion to the west, both of which are being extensively excavated. Acting as a magnificent backdrop to the city that spreads for miles along the coast are the Troodos Mountains, in whose fertile foothills most of the country's grapes are grown.

Since the Middle Ages when the Crusaders had Cyprus under Richard the Lionheart, Limassol has been known to traders for its wine and sugar cane. Thereafter the Crusaders made their headquarters at the Square Keep west of the city, known as Kolossi Medieval Castle, where they fostered the making of wines, particularly the sweet dessert with "Commandaria" - the oldest named wine in the world. Now, with a population of 155.000 is the center of Cyprus winemaking industry, and an important commercial and tourist center.

Today Limassol is an excellent sea resort, with a ten-mile coastline; a busy shopping center, countless taverns and restaurants nightlife to suit tastes ranging from modest to sophisticate and it's an important seaport, industrial, tourist, offshore and port of registry center. The modern economic development of the city started in the beginning of the 20th Century with the creation of what is called the traditional industry of the area, the wine and spirit industry. During that time there was also the development of large citrus and vineyard plantations, west of Limassol. The city was also the major exporting center of Amiantus ore which was transferred from Troodos mountain via a 24-kilometre aerial cableway to the city's shore where was loaded to cargo ships for export.

Limassol is the home of all the wineries, which made Cyprus famous for it's exceptionally good wine. Wine making in Cyprus run deep into the islands history, so deep as the roots of the vine grow into the earth, and the history of the wine is parallel with the history of the island with all its Fortunes and misfortunes.

The tourist industry started developing to an important economic activity in the 1930's with Platres on Mount Olympus being a major tourist destination at the time with many visitors from Greece and Egypt including the most famous of all the king of Egypt Farouk.

The industrial activity in Limassol has changed face with the creation of the first industrial area in 1969 and with the completion of the new Limassol port at the beginning of 1970's. Although Limassol was becoming a major commercial center on the island, the real growth came after the terrible events of 1974, the Turkish invasion where 200,000 Cypriots lost their homes and properties. The city's population was tripled overnight. The events of 1974 as well as the war in Lebanon the following year busted Limassol's potential in becoming a major trade and shipping center not only on the island but also of the Middle East.

Combining its roles as the second largest city, the island's main port, the center of the wine industry and a bustling holiday resort, Limassol emerges as a spirited and cosmopolitan seaside town. Limassol is the "city of fun" as it's called in Cyprus and it is the home of the world famous wine festival, a ten-day event end of September, where you can mingle with the crowds in the beautifully decorated Municipal Gardens to sample the Cyprus wines which flow freely during the event. Limassol is also the home of the Carnival parade in spring, and the hundreds of parties around the city where an exhilarating atmosphere is created during the weeklong celebrations. If you decide to visit us during the hot nights of July and August, Limassol still offers you amongst other pleasures, the international Dance Festival, at the Garden Theatre, or the possibility to watch a play, a Greek drama or a concert at the ancient theatre of Curium.

A visit to the places of interest would include Limassol Castle, which houses The Cyprus Mediaeval Museum, the District Archaeological Museum, the Folk Art Museum, the Limassol Municipal Art Gallery, and the Municipal Gardens. Also in the vicinity are the placid Yermasogia dam, frequented by keen anglers, and the Salt Lake at Akrotiri, home of thousands of migrating birds in winter, and a stopover point for millions more as they go to different climates in spring and autumn. In nearby foothills, delightful villages continue the gentle pace of rural life.

Limassol - Offshore Center

The islands strategic location, the excellent infrastructure, the convenient accessibility by sea and air, its well-educated workforce as well as the low cost of living and its pleasant way of life contributed to the islands development to an undisputed regional offshore center.

Today offshore company registration passed the 30,000 levels with over a thousand of them operating through their fully-fledged offices. Over half of them operate from Limassol.

Cyprus has worked its way through many obstacles and over the last 19 years was developed to a respectable offshore center. Currently the majority of the offshore companies registered in Cyprus are involved with trade, marketing and distribution, followed by ship management and maritime, business engineering and consultancy, news agency and commercial and merchant banking, insurance and third party financial services.

Commerce is by far the most important as far as company registrations are concern. Trading companies use the Limassol Port with all its facilities and services to do their transit or as a regional storage and distribution center. It is considered to be an excellent base for those companies that are doing business with Middle East, North Africa, or Eastern Europe.

Trading companies, amongst other things, take advantage of the high standard service sector for their banking, documentation and transaction needs. You do not need a fully-fledged exports department with all the relevant costs. Very reliable, efficient and competitive service providers in Cyprus could easily handle the majority of the documents.

The shipping industry, despite the recent bad publicity, continues to grow and it is currently the fifth largest one as far as gross tonnage is concerned. There are about 2,000 large vessels registered under the Cypriot flag.

The Cyprus success as a maritime center is due primarily to its legal system, governing shipping, which is based on the British Maritime Law. The number of double tax treaties with other countries and the law taxation definitely help the islands potential in becoming a maritime center with ship owning companies, paying no tax whatsoever on income, dividends paid or any other form of income from the vessels operations or sale. Ship management companies pay taxes on their profits at the rate of 4.25%.

Infrastructure and the islands' proximity to Europe play an important factor in the decision to choose Cyprus as a base. In addition to the telecommunications, human resources, and leaving conditions a developed banking system and the organized shipping community in a council, the Cyprus Shipping Council, helped the industry on the island to improve its services to owners and managers as well as to promote the island a maritime center. Perhaps the most important factor of all is the existence of many Ship management companies offering top quality services to ship owners all over the world.

With recent shipping profile change and the development of the Ship management companies, Limassol is the name of two of the worlds' largest five Ship management companies. Limassol is hosting over 90% of the shipping industry and over 50% of the offshore companies that operate out of a fully-fledged office.

Limassol Port

Limassol Port is the major port of Cyprus for all the ingoing and outgoing cargo. The port handled close to 400,000 TEU's in 1996, about 70% of the total traffic in containerized local and transit cargo, as well as 96% of the 690,000-passenger traffic. It is not by chance that 50 international cruise liners included Cyprus in their Mediterranean routes resulting to over 100,000 visitors of which 80% through Limassol Port.

The recent improvements of the parts infrastructure with more than double the loading and unloading capacity as well as the significant upgrading of the superstructure to enable service to the fourth generation container ships, combined with the strategic location of the port provides a perfect solution to the shipping needs.



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