Cyprus is an island of south-eastern Europe, with a population exceeding 1,1 million and an annual population growth of 1,4%. Its climate is temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters. Agricultural land is used at a percentage of 13,4% of the whole territory, while forests occupy a percentage of 18,8%. The main industries of the economy include tourism, food and beverage processing, cement and gypsum, ship repair and refurbishment, textiles, light chemicals, metal products, wood, paper, stone and clay products.The area of the Republic of Cyprus under government control has a market economy dominated by the service sector, which accounts for four-fifths of GDP. Tourism, financial services, and real estate have traditionally been the most important sectors.
Cyprus has been a member of the European Union (EU) since May 2004 and adopted the euro as its national currency in January 2008. During the first five years of EU membership, the Cyprus economy grew at an average rate of about 4%, with unemployment between 2004 and 2008 averaging about 4%.However, the economy tipped into recession in 2009 as the ongoing global financial crisis and resulting low demand hit the tourism and construction sectors. Cyprus emerged from recession in the first quarter of 2015 and its economy grew an estimated 0.5% for the year, setting a positive tone for the scheduled end of the bailout program in March 2016.
In October 2013, a US-Israeli consortium completed preliminary appraisals of hydrocarbon deposits in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which revealed an estimated gross mean reserve of about 130 billion cubic meters.