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Thursday, 8th February 2007

SEMINAR ON RECENT LEGISLATIVE & TAX DEVELOPMENTS IN CYPRUS HOUSTON, TEXAS

The Cyprus Trade Center in co-operation with the International Fiscal Association-USA Branch and companies CITCO Corporate Services Inc., the Law Offices of Chr. C. Pelaghias of Cyprus, and Vinson & Elkins LLP, Houston on February 8th hosted a highly successful seminar highlighting recent legislative and tax developments in Cyprus which constitute Cyprus as one of the most favored jurisdictions for Corporate Holding for inbound and outbound investment.

The seminar held at the Houston Center Club was opened by Cyprus’ Trade Commissioner Mr. Aristos Constantine, who in welcoming the distinguished audience, consisting of representatives from major US Financial and Investment Institutions and leading figures from the Cypriot and Greek-American community, noted that for the Cyprus government, attracting and fostering foreign investment is amongst the prime objectives of its development policy. Mr. Constantine stressed the fact that Cyprus is one of the most respected EU jurisdictions with legal framework in line with EU and OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) requirements, and that with the islands’ excellent infrastructure, favorable tax regime and its varied double tax treaties with over 40 countries make it a highly favorable environment for foreign business and investment.

There followed a detailed and insightful presentation regarding the benefits and methods of doing business through Cyprus for foreign investors given by Eric Van Aalst of CITCO Corporate Services Inc. and Christodoulos Pelaghias, Law Offices of Chr. C. Pelaghias & Co. The panelists gave particular emphasis on inbound and outbound investment to and from India via Cyprus, as well as on the latest Cyprus tax treaty developments, and the formation and administration of investment funds in Cyprus.

Outlining its strategic location and membership to the European Union, Mr. Pelaghias spoke of the ability for American and other companies to penetrate new markets on the EU rim by taking advantage of Cyprus’ flat corporate income tax rate and its varied double tax treaties with non-EU members, with which it has excellent bilateral relations.

With regard to the comparative advantages of Cyprus as a corporate Holding Jurisdiction, Mr. Van Aalst referred to Cyprus’ simplified and straightforward administrative procedures, low operating costs, ideal geographic location and in many cases superior double tax treaties.
In his closing remarks, the Cyprus Trade Commissioner, Aristos Constantine, referred to the fact that while tax considerations are extremely important in the decision making process, they may not be the only factors in choosing the location through which to set up corporate holdings, but in the case of Cyprus one can expect all needs to be met. In essence, there are practically no investment activities unsuitable for the Cyprus model, making it truly a new force in global commerce.