Cyrus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily and Sardinia. Ancient Cyprus was a notable copper producer with mines being exploited as early as the 2500 BC. Today copper, asbestos, iron pyrites, and gypsum have contributed significantly to the external trade. Here are the most important industries in Cyprus.
Industry and Manufacturing
The nation’s industrial and manufacturing sector has in recent years witnessed a gradual decline as the services sector continues rising. Manufacturing accounted for about 6.5% of the country's GDP in 2013. The sector also employed 9% of the nation’s labor force in the same year. The country is ranked at position 39 out of a total of 185 countries in terms of ease of doing business by the World Bank. The ranking takes into account the conducive and the regulatory environment in the opening and operating of local firms. Some of the main products manufactured in the country include textiles, food, and beverages, pharmaceuticals, machinery, and equipment.
The mining sector makes a relatively small contribution to the nation's economy. In 2012 the sector employed an estimated 534 people. The mining industry which includes copper, gold, iron pyrite and asbestos was at one point very profitable. The sector, however, began its decline in the 1970s as a result of some external factors that included the Turkish invasion of the northern regions of the island in 1974 which had some important mines.
The agricultural sector together with forestry and fisheries accounted for about 2% of the country's GDP in 2010. The sector has witnessed a considerable decline due to the steady development of other sectors of the economy. The sector, however, is still crucial as it employed an estimated 4.3 % of the nation’s labor force in 2010. Agriculture takes up about 13.5% of the country's land according to estimates from 2009.
The tourism industry has played an important role in the economy of Cyprus since independence. The country is currently among the biggest tourist attractions in the Mediterranean region. In 2011 the sector generated $3.6 million and provided jobs to about 74,000 of the country’s citizens. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the nation is ranked at position 35 out of 181 countries regarding tourism industry's contribution to the overall economy. The sector accounted for 17.7% of the nation's economy in 2011 compared to the world average which is 14%.
Banking and Financial Services
The banking and financial sector is quite large and sophisticated. It consists of companies carrying out commercial banking, cooperative credit, accounting and tax, capital markets, and insurance. The asset in the industry represented about 69% of the country’s GDP in 2009.
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