Despite the recent financial crisis, businesses in Cyprus still operate responsibly. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a necessary condition for sustained social progress. In Cyprus many companies, banks and other private organisation carry out a series of activities and behaviours as part of their CSR programmes, which include volunteering, environmental protection and restoration, charitable professional services and corporate community leadership.
In Cyprus, it is important to arrange appointments well in advance by formally requesting a meeting, agreeing a time and date and confirming your attendance in writing. Punctuality is expected, although it is possible that your Cypriot partner will arrive at the meeting late.
Small gifts are well accepted by Cypriot business partners. You should give something useful for the office such as small corporate gifts branded with your company logo. You should know that gifts are generally not opened when they are received. If a Cypriot invites you to their home for a meal, you should bring a small gift such pastries or flowers, but avoid white lilies, which are typically associated with funerals.
Business dress code
The dress codes for business meetings in Cyprus are the same as for most other European countries. It is best to adopt a conservative approach and wear formal business attire, such as a dark coloured suit with tie for men and a skirt or pant suit for women.
Bribery and corruption
Cyprus ranks 66 in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2012 prepared by The Global Coalition against Corruption Transparency International. In Cyprus, corruption constitutes a criminal offence and is regulated by the Penal Code, the Prevention of Corruption Law, and the Public Service Law. A new law has also been enacted, which includes rules on openness and transparency to reduce the opportunities for corruption. Moreover, Cyprus is a member of the Council of Europe’s Multidisciplinary Group on Corruption.