Cyprus country brief

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

Key engagement

Support for peace and reunification of Cyprus, including Australia’s longest UN Peacekeeping mission (53 years).

Outlook

Cyprus' climate and rainfall are similar to South Australia’s, providing opportunities for Australia to cooperate on water, renewable energy and agriculture. 

Bilateral relations

The strength of the bilateral relationship between Australia and Cyprus stems from the ties developed by Cypriot migration to Australia.  Educational and cultural links in archaeology remain strong.  Australian academics have been working on the island since the 1930s. Sydney’s Nicholson Museum and Melbourne’s Ian Potter Museum of Art house some of the most extensive archaeological collections outside Cyprus. Scientific and academic links between CSIRO/Australian universities and their Cypriot counterparts are growing, particularly on solar-thermal energy, water treatment and semi- arid agriculture, and road accident research.

Foreign policy

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

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', nor does any country other than Turkey. The Australian Government urges all parties to continue ongoing constructive efforts to resolve the dispute.

Australia’s foreign policy is guided by the Foreign Policy White Paper.

Fast Facts        

  • Cypriot visitors to Australia (2017/18) — 2,500
  • Australian visitors to Cyprus (2017/18) — 9,300
  • Resident Australian population born in Cyprus (2016 census) — 16,936
  • Australian residents of Cypriot descent [2016 census] — 19,146
  • Cyprus work & holidaymakers (2016/17) — 63
  • Cyprus students in Australia (Jan-May 2018) — 57

High level engagement

  • 2017 Minister for Justice and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Counter-Terrorism the Hon Michael Keenan MP visited Cyprus.
  • 2018 Shipping Deputy Minister to the President Ms Natasa Pilides visited Australia.

 Agreements with Cyprus

  • Police Cooperation
  • Education & Research Agreement
  • Air Services Agreement
  • Social Security

Public diplomacy

Australia’s  2017‒18 Public Diplomacy program in Cyprus promoted Australia's interests in the international rules-based order, Australia-EU-FTA and the liberal-trading system, gender equality (including Women Peace and Security), human rights (including Indigenous Australia), tertiary education, sports diplomacy and alumni engagement and Australia’s STEM excellence.  Post’s  messaging continues to engage and be responsive to both Greek and Turkish Cypriot audiences, delivering innovative and well-followed social media and soft power tools.

Australia worked with REACTION (a civil-society youth organisation) in partnership with Cyprus Police and Monash University, to deliver road-user education campaigns focused on road safety, leveraging Australia's experience combatting Cyprus’ still high levels of deaths in young people from drink/drug-driving & speeding.

Australia continues to sponsor the Cyprus Academic Dialogue (CAD), a Greek and Turkish-Cypriot communities’-led bicommunal mechanism promoting compromise, reconciliation and reunification of the two communities. CAD’s work plays a key role in peace and confidence building measures. The group hosts roundtables, workshops and grassroots dialogues across Cyprus – and in Greece and Turkey - engaging all stakeholders to find innovative ways to move forward in the peace process.

Australian High Commission to Cyprus
7th Floor, Block A
Alpha Business Centre
27 Pindarou Street, 1060
Nicosia, Cyprus
Ph: +357 2269 7555
nicosia.ahc@dfat.gov.au
24hr Emergency for Australian citizens: +357 2269 7555

Australia also operates an annex in the northern part of Nicosia every Thursday.
Australia Place
20 Guner Turkmen Sokak
Ph: +357 2267 6739 or +90 392 227 73 32

Economic diplomacy

Australia’s trade and investment priorities include promoting Cypriot investment into Australia and Australian investment in Cyprus. The High Commission facilitates Australian businesses to establish operations in Cyprus, including by understanding the local regulatory and business environment and government procurement tender process. It supports Australian tertiary institutions in linking with Cypriot institutions to enhance research collaboration, educational links and business synergies.

The High Commission promotes to Cypriot ministers, government, state and university researchers, businesses opportunities in Australia, as well as Australia’s best products, services and world-class innovations. These include shipbuilding, water desalination, solar thermal energy/environmental and water resource management,  waste and recycling technologies, road safety research, and a range of semi-arid/drought-tolerant research and products related to livestock and crop production, including winemaking.    

More economic and trade information can be found in the Cyprus Country Brief.

Business

Cyprus’ 2004 entry into the EU, the recent financial crisis, and growth in Australia-Asia trade has seen two-way trade decline steadily.  Cypriot business has also moved focus in the last decade to Russia, Israel and the Middle East.  Australian businesses have traditionally viewed Cyprus as a small outlying extension of the European market rather than an EU gateway and platform to operate into the Israel & Middle East.  This is changing slowly.

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

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

Related links

Last Updated: 13 August 2018