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Cyprus

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Cyprus country brief

An EU country with similar values and deep historical roots through Cypriot immigration to Australia.

Key engagement

The Australia-Cyprus relationship is founded on shared values and underpinned by a common UK institutional inheritance, Commonwealth membership, and Australia's long-standing support for UN efforts to find a just and permanent solution to the Cyprus issue.

Outlook

2023 will mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between Australia and Cyprus and we look forward to deepening our cooperation, including on agriculture and renewable energy technologies.

Bilateral relations

The Australia and Cyprus relationship is underlined by ties developed through Cypriot migration to Australia. Australia hosts the second largest Cypriot diaspora after the UK.

Educational and cultural links in archaeology remain strong. Australian academics have been working in Cyprus since the 1930s. Scientific and academic links between CSIRO, Australian universities and their Cypriot counterparts are strong and ongoing. Research topics include road safety, solar-thermal energy, water treatment, fire risk-management and disaster recovery, and semi- arid agriculture and wine production.

Australia supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and recognises the Republic as the only legitimate authority on the island. Australia does not recognise the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus'.

The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) was established in 1964 to prevent further fighting between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities. UNFICYP was Australia's longest UN peacekeeping mission (53 years). Major General (Rtd) Cheryl Pearce, AM was the first Australian Commander of UNICYP. She held the position for two years and completed her tenure on 4 January 2021.

Foreign policy

Cyprus’ foreign policy is focused on the enhancement of relations with countries in its region, an active role in the European Union (EU), and multilateral engagement including with the United Nations (UN).

Cyprus joined the Commonwealth in 1961 and became a member of the United Nations in 1960. Cyprus joined the EU in 2004 and joined the Eurozone in 2008. Cyprus held the presidency of the EU Council in 2012.

Cyprus is the only EU member not a member of NATO or its Alliance Partnership for Peace Program.

Cyprus joined the Commonwealth in 1961 and became a member of the United Nations in 1960. Cyprus joined the EU in 2004 and joined the Eurozone in 2008. Cyprus held the presidency of the EU Council in 2012.

Cyprus is the only EU member not a member of NATO or its Alliance Partnership for Peace Program.

Fast Facts

  • Cypriot visitors to Australia (FY21-22) – 277
  • Australian resident returns from Cyprus (FY21-22) – 22
  • Resident Australian population born in Cyprus (2021 census) – 17,980
  • Australian residents of Cypriot descent (2021 census) – 40,091
  • Cypriot working holidaymakers (FY21-22) – 9
  • Cypriot students enrolled in Australia (FY21-22) – <5

High level engagement

  • January 2020 – Then President of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus visited Australia
  • November 2019 – Then Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel visited Cyprus and met with the Cypriot Minister for Defence, Mr Savvas Angelides.

Agreements with Cyprus

Australia has several bilateral agreements with Cyprus.

Texts of bilateral agreements are available at the Australian Treaties Database.

Public diplomacy

The Australian High Commission in Nicosia actively promotes Australia’s commitment to international peace and security, multilateral cooperation, women’s empowerment, and gender equality.

Activities have included supporting peace building and reunification through the Cyprus Academic Dialogue, hosting and participating in cultural events, co-hosting and sponsoring the bicommunal ‘Women’s Walk & Talk’ events, and supporting tertiary collaboration and research events.

Australian High Commission in Nicosia

Economic diplomacy

The Australian High Commission in Nicosia is focused on promoting investment opportunities to Australian and Cypriot businesses, deepening partnerships in research and education, particularly in the fields of renewable energy, water resource management, and agricultural produce.

In 2020, Australia's two-way goods and services trade with Cyprus was valued at $265 million, of which $232 million were imports from Cyprus. Major merchandise imports from Cyprus to Australia included cheese and curd; medicaments (including veterinary) and alcoholic beverages.

Major merchandise exports to Cyprus from Australia included equipment and machinery parts, optical instruments, and miscellaneous manufactured articles.

In 2021, total foreign investment stock in Australia from Cyprus was valued at $214 million, compared with Australian total investment in Cyprus of $234 million.

More economic and trade information.

Australia continues to seek opportunities to promote Australian business and raise awareness of potential benefits of increased trade between Australia and Europe, including Cyprus. This work has intensified followed the launch of Australia-EU trade agreement negotiations in June 2018.

More information about the Australia-EU trade agreement.

Business

Australia has niche markets in Cyprus, including in cooling equipment, pleasure boating products, mining, wine, processed foodstuffs, beauty products and pharmaceuticals. Recent years have seen Australian interests engage on Cyprus' renewable energy, water, financial services and mining markets.

As an EU member with a Common Law legal system and English widely spoken, Cyprus offers opportunities for Australian businesses, including in the financial sector, consultancy and logistics in the fields of aviation/airports, gas and energy, infrastructure, tourism, casinos and waste management.

The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) Milan Office promotes Australian trade and business with Cyprus.

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