Cyprus - Foreign trade

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:


Consumer goods 29.7%
Food 8.3%
Fuels 12.6%
Industrial supplies 20.3%
Machinery 15.6%
Transportation 12.1%
Other 1.4%

Principal trading partners in 2000 (in millions of US dollars) were as follows:


United Kingdom 159 408 -249
Greece 78 330 -252
Russia 76 158 -82
Syria 63 118 -55
Germany 29 269 -240
United States 22 399 -377
Israel 19 156 -137
Spain 15 127 -112
Italy 10 340 -330
Japan n.a. 223 n.a.

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.

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