26 August 2014

The Battle for Cyprus

The island of Cyprus is reliant on tourism which represents approximately 12% of GDP.  The latest figures from the Cyprus state statistical service shows a 22.6% increase in the number of visitors from Russia in July 2014. Over 116582 Russians visited the island compared to 96641 in July 2013.

There was a small dip in the number of visitors from Britain but still the largest number at 127152 for July 2014 compared to 132566 in July 2013.

The total figures for the first seven months of this year are: British 478882, Russians 372457, Sweden 57676 plus many tourists from other countries around the world. During 2013 Cyprus welcomed 2.4 million visitors and it looks like 2014 will see an increase on the previous year. Tourism income brings in around €2.0 Billion per year.

Cyprus is still seen an an ideal location for those who are seeking to purchase a holiday home or retirement or investment property. 

12 August 2014

Ukraine - Could it get any worse?

It would be fair to say the business environment in Ukraine is well and truly ****ed.

Even before the Russians started trying to dismember parts of Ukraine the country was in a mess.
Unemployment is high. Inflation is out of control.
Public finances are in a mess. Although we now know that Yanukovych stole billions, it is doubtful if any of the stolen money, even when found will find its way back to Ukraine.
The government is in a mess. The public sector remains part of the old soviet system of doing things, or usually the system of not doing anything. Always easier to say NO just in case.
The parliament is still made up of members from the old regime and old way of doing things for their own personal gain. God forbid they would think about doing anything for the people of the country.

Businesses are not doing much and their employees are going unpaid for many months.

Oh...and the currency has gone into steep decline.  So, not a good environment for doing business in Ukraine.

The level of corruption is probably a little less than what it was under the old regime. We hope.
Many commentators claim that the black economy in Ukraine is over 60 percent.
There is still a massive hole in the country's tax collection. The road to recovery is going to be a long way.