Our focus on clients from the Middle East
Shanda Consult advises and assists its Middle East clients to take advantage of Cyprus as a bridge for investments in the EU, benefiting from the EU economic freedoms and from the advantages of Cyprus as an investor-friendly jurisdiction. Shanda Consult is furthermore experienced in localising German and other EU companies as Joint Venture partners for clients from the Middle East countries.
The sympathy of the Middle East for Cyprus
Many people of the Middle East countries feel a special sympathy for Cyprus, its people and its culture. The reason is not only the fact that the culture of Cyprus is quite similar to the culture of many Middle East countries – not a surprise with a heritage of 3000 years of being a business hub and a bridge between the East and the West, and vice versa. Cyprus always maintained excellent relations to its neighbours and helped when help was needed.
Cyprus opened its doors to hundred thousands of Lebanese people, fleeing the Lebanon war in the late 70s and early 80s. Since that time, Cyprus has closed ties with the Lebanon and with Lebanese people and businesses. Still today there is a remarkable population of Lebanese in Cyprus, as well as many subsidiaries and branches of Lebanese banks.
When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, Cyprus again opened its doors for ten thousands of Kuwaitis who had to flee from Kuwait.
Business people and investors from the Middle East like Cyprus as a place to do business, as a gateway to the EU, and as a jurisdiction to structure their various investments in European companies and real estate projects.
Today, investments into company shares and commercial real estate is often organised through private equity funds, which are set up as Alternative Investment Funds.
How Shanda Consult can help you
German-managed Shanda Consult is a well-established business consulting firm and corporate and fiduciary service provider, licenced by CySEC, the Cyprus Security and Exchange Commission. Shanda Consult can advise you how to structure your business in order to benefit from the many advantages of Cyprus, including tax advantages. Shanda Consult can set up your Cyprus Company, assist with the setup of an operating establishment or a structure of investment firms, advise and assist with the setup of Alternative Investment Funds, provide various fiduciary services as well as interim management, keep up with the statutory obligations of your Cyprus Company, provide accountancy and tax services, arrange for auditing, and advise on business development. Shanda Consult can also provide assistance related to target markets of the EU, with a strong focus on Germany.
Regarding Germany, Shanda Consult may advise and support you in respect of
- company acquisition (share deals and asset deals, mergers),
- investment in commercial real estate,
- obtainment of banking licences.
A special service of Shanda Consult is the localisation of possible Joint Venture partners from Germany and the EU for investment projects of clients from the Middle East countries.
Please do not hesitate to contact us for an initial evaluation of your situation and expectations.
Advantages of Cyprus
One of the substantial advantages of Cyprus is the fact that Cyprus implemented all economic EU directives directly into national law, in contrast to some EU countries like, for example, France or Germany, which are clipping some of the EU freedoms or discriminating those who want to make use of their EU freedoms, for the sake of national concerns such as mainly tax revenues.
While Cyprus is fully compliant with all EU directives related to tax matters and financial matters, it provides tax advantages such as a business-friendly corporate tax rate of 12,5 % on taxable income. Income from the disposal of securities in its widest sense, including company shares, is exempted from tax. This makes Cyprus a preferred place for structuring of investments, where investment exits are realised by selling the shares of a subsidiary that holds the investment, rather than selling the investment itself. Profit generated from the sale of company shares is not taxable in Cyprus.
Licensable business such as insurance business, tourism agencies, financial services, investment consultancy and many more do benefit from the EU freedom of services. This basically means that such a licence obtained in one EU country allows conducting the licenced business activities in all and any EU country, without the need of additional permits in the other EU country.
It is often substantially less costly to obtain a specific licence in Cyprus than in other EU countries. Often it is also easier to obtain such a licence in Cyprus, because Cyprus implemented the respective EU law as it is, without creating additional hurdles.
Cyprus offers a highly educated labour market with very moderate salaries, compared with many other EU countries.
The laws of Cyprus are based on Common Law.
Cyprus also offers an interesting Citizenship by Investment programme, which provides Cyprus citizenship within a few months. Cyprus citizens enjoy the right of free movement and settlement in the EU, and all other freedoms that native EU citizen do enjoy.
Basics of the economic freedoms of the European Union
The EU Community acquis (the accumulated legislation, legal acts, and court decisions which constitute the body of European Union law) provides for four economic freedoms, which are established both in the Treaty of Maastricht from 1994 and in the Lisbon Treaty from 2007 (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)) and which constitute fundamental rights of all EU citizens and EU entities.
Those four EU economic freedoms are:
- the free movement of goods,
- the freedom of establishment and the freedom of services,
- the free movement of labour, and
- the free movement of capital.
Although all four freedoms were guaranteed by the Treaty of Maastricht and the Lisbon Treaty, further clarifications and clear and legally binding EU provisions became necessary in order to ensure equal implementation and treatment in all EU member states, and in order to ensure the avoidance of discrimination in the EU member states. Thus, the EU successively implemented the first three rights mentioned above into its law, basically through EU directives. The realisation of the legal implementation of the fourth freedom, the freedom of movement of capital, is currently (beginning 2017) an undergoing project named CMU (Capital Markets Union). While the free movement of capital and its subordinated rights already became part of our daily life, the EU plans to build a true single market for capital in the EU by 2019.