Business communication

Cyprus-flag-140Face-to-face communication

Cypriots consider telephone calls and other formal communications important, but they prefer to establish personal relationships. For this reason, they like to have face-to-face meetings for doing business.

Language matters

The majority of Cypriots speak Greek, but English is widely spoken and considered to be the primary language of business in Cyprus. Turkish is the official language of Northern Cyprus; French and German are also spoken, especially in tourist areas, although not as widely as English. The linguistic situation in Cyprus is described by some people as diglossic (or bidialectal) with ‘Standard Modern Greek’ and the ‘Greek-Cypriot Dialect’ co-existing.

Language policy is closely related to social, political and national factors and this explains why the SMG (Standard Modern Greek) variant had been chosen as the ‘proper’ language of Cyprus, which is taught in state schools.

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Business relationships

The cornerstones of the business environment in Cyprus are respect, personal trust and hospitality. Most Cypriots prefer face-to-face contact such as meetings, rather than telephone conversations or written communications. Cypriots consider the building of personal relationships with business partners to be a very important aspect of their business.

Making contact

A first contact with your Cypriot partner should be by email or by telephone to arrange a place and time for the meeting. Business cards should be produced in both Greek and English to facilitate communications and demonstrate an appreciation of the culture. During a first meeting you should bring a brochure or other promotional material from the company you represent to leave with your partner.

Personal titles

In Cyprus you should address your partner formally, using the surname preceded by Mr. or Ms. and professional titles. Once a relationship becomes more personal, your counterpart should naturally invite you to use their first name.

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