With limited natural resources, Cyprus is dependent on other countries for many of its needs. Other than some agricultural commodities, it has few surpluses, and the balance of trade has steadily grown more unfavorable.
The tobacco industry in Cyprus provides the export market with the largest portion of revenues (30%), while medicinal and pharmaceutical products take care of another large proportion (11%). Other exports include passenger motor vehicles (6.3%), vegetables (5.7%), apparel (4.5%), and fruit (2.5%).
In 2000 Cyprus's imports were distributed among the following categories:
Principal trading partners in 2000 (in millions of US dollars) were as follows:
Lack of international recognition for the Turkish Cypriots severely hampers their foreign trade. Because of the Greek Cypriot economic boycott, all goods originating in northern Cyprus must transit through Turkey, thereby adding to shipping costs. Moreover, a 1994 ruling by the European Court of Justice declared that phyto-sanitary certificates issued by the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" were invalid due to the "illegality" of the entity.