With the new UK-EU trade agreement meaning no tariffs or quotas have been introduced following Brexit, Cyprus is a great sourcing destination for the year ahead boasting a fast-developing export trade and a reputation for high quality and competitive pricing.
As a result of the UK’s exit from the European Union businesses will need to get used to new checks over the coming months.
With uncertainty around the impact of the new Brexit deal continuing, retailers will be treading carefully when it comes to international trade within the EU.
However, Cyprus has historically held a somewhat special relationship with the UK and could be an ideal sourcing destination for retailers in the year ahead.
Today, the two countries maintain close links in the political, economic and cultural fields. These are enhanced further through the strong position of Cyprus as member of the European Union and the Commonwealth.
Despite its relatively small stature in both size and population, Cyprus is at the crossroads of three continents, being situated in the southeast of Europe, north of Africa and west of Asia.
This unique location sets it in good stead for becoming an international business hub as it is at the crux of busy shipping and air routes that link the three continents.
For retailers wanting to explore new international opportunities in 2021, particularly when it comes to finding new places to source products, Cyprus has plenty to offer.
Investment in innovation
Cyprus boasts a fast-developing export trade and a reputation for high quality. And the country’s competitive pricing doesn’t go unnoticed by buyers, with the added benefit of no new quotas or tariffs as a result of Brexit.
With its small domestic market, exports are therefore of vital importance to its economy.
A key objective of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry, along with the private sector, over the next 10 years is to improve access to key export markets, so a revolution could be on the cards for the country.
Innovation projects in manufacturing are already being supported by the state as part of this.
The majority of Cyprus’ manufacturers are small and medium-sized enterprises, many of which are family-run. Therefore, the sector is more agile and open to flexibility and fast-tracked modernisation.
A breadth of choice
Traditionally, the UK has been one of Cyprus’ most significant trading partners, with more than 10% of its total domestic exports directed to these shores.
“The pharmaceutical industry is Cyprus’ leading manufacturing domestic export category”
Halloumi cheese is, perhaps unsurprisingly, among the biggest exports, but the UK also enjoys other offerings from Cyprus including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, building materials, plastic and paper products, furniture and fashion.
The pharmaceutical industry is Cyprus’ leading manufacturing domestic export category, which has doubled during the last few years by offering innovation and continuous development.
The sector is mainly focused on the production and export of high-quality generic medicines comprising a wide range of therapeutic categories.
As a gateway between Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Cyprus draws on many influences in fashion design.
It has become a serious contender in haute couture as well as high street, using a range of fabrics, design and production techniques.
Cypriot companies can handle all size orders, branded or buyer’s own label clothes, often at short notice.
Cypriot skills in design though date back nearly 3000 years with jewellery making, which showcases a proud tradition of fine craftsmanship and storytelling through iconic symbolism and strong designs portraying myth, legend and nature.
And the industry is well set to take advantage of its position to export worldwide, with companies invested in state-of-the-art machinery combined with large portfolios of master patterns and designs.
In recent years, Cypriot furniture makers have focused on consumers looking for individuality and bespoke products reflecting current design trends.
Their designs have evolved over the years in response to changing attitudes and lifestyles. Designers and build teams prepare woodwork not only for residential but also for commercial and corporate use.
Meanwhile, companies creating healthcare, detergents and other chemical products are able to supply hundreds of different items to various specifications with private-label names – another option for UK retailers on the hunt for new export partners.
In what continues to be challenging times for all, there is much to excite. And whether you have previously considered Cyprus or not, this is the time to keep up-to-date with developments and opportunities that might arise.