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Cyprus–Norway relations

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Cyprus-Norway relations are foreign relations between Cyprus and Norway. Diplomatic relations were established on March 22, 1963.[1] The government in Cyprus considers that "bilateral relations between Cyprus and Norway are excellent in all fields".[2]

Neither country has resident ambassadors. Cyprus is represented in Norway through its embassy in Stockholm, Sweden and 2 honorary consulates, one in Oslo and the second in Kristiansand. Norway is represented in Cyprus through its embassy in Athens, Greece and an honorary consulate in Nicosia.[3] Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe. Diplomatic relations were established on 22 March 1963.[2]

On August 21, 1951 there was a Consular Convention and an Exchange of Letters relating to establishing diplomatic relations. On May 2, 1951 there was a Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income. On May 17, 1962 there was an Exchange of Letters constituting an Agreement on the Abolition of Visa Requirement in Nicosia. On March 5, 1963 there was an Agreement on Commercial Scheduled Air Transport signed in London.[4]

Norway provides direct funding to the Cypriot Government and also to local authorities, NGOs and educational institutions through EEA and Norway Grants.[5] The NGO Fund in Cyprus is co-financed by the European Economic Area (EEA) Financial Mechanism and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism. It was established in 2004.[6] In 2006, Norway increased its commitment to offer a total contribution of 4.66 million euros.[6] In 2007 a delegation from the EEA and Norway Grants went to Cyprus to "monitor the spending of Norwegian funds given to Cyprus as part of the European Economic Area."[7] In 2008 Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre traveled to Cyprus to meet President Demetris Christofias. They met to discuss Norway's assistance to the Cypriot village of Salamiou, in Paphos. The Norwegians plan to rebuild an old elementary school in the village. It will then become a Regional Centre for Environmental Education at the cost of 735,000.[8]

The taxation levels in Cyprus are considerably lower than in Norway, and Cyprus has actively courted Norwegians to move to Cyprus.[9] Among the Norwegians who moved to Cyprus is the shipping billionaire John Fredriksen, who was the richest man in Norway.[10][11][12]

In 1996 tax rules in Norway were changed to keep shipping companies competitive and under the Norwegian flag. By 2008 changes to the tonnage tax regime to harmonize them with the European Union forced some companies to register in Cyprus.[13] Norwegian Service rig company Prosafe moved their headquarters to Cyprus.[14]

Several Norwegian retirees also moved to Cyprus; this too is largely to benefit from the lower tax rate on Cyprus and the minimal crime.[15][16] The Norwegian colony on Cyprus is in Paphos.[16]

  1. "Kingdom of Norway". Cyprus. http://www.mfa.gov.cy/mfa/mfa2006.nsf/All/4FC761EE2A113ECBC22571E1002F4D22/$file/Norway.pdf?OpenElement. Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Cyprus – Norway Bilateral Relations". Embassy of Cyprus in Sweden. http://www.cyprusemb.se/dbase/cypemb/3_political_section_norway.asp. Retrieved May 03, 2009. 
  3. "Consulates in Greece and Cyprus". Norway. http://www.norway.gr/Embassy/Consulates/. Retrieved 2010-05-15. "There are several Norwegian Honorary Consulates in Greece, and one in Nicosia, Cyprus." 
  4. "Kingdom of Norway". Cyprus. http://www.mfa.gov.cy/mfa/mfa2006.nsf/All/4FC761EE2A113ECBC22571E1002F4D22/$file/Norway.pdf%3FOpenElement. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  5. "Norwegian partners get valuable insight in Cyprus". Royal Norwegian Embassy in Athens. 2008. http://www.norway.gr/News_and_events/business_and_eea/eea/Norwegian-partners-get-valuable-insight-in-Cyprus/. Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "NGO Fund Launch Event". The Fund for Non Governmental Organisations in Cyprus. http://www.eeangofund.org.cy/page_1229620162754.html. Retrieved May 01, 2009. 
  7. "Norway allocates 4.7 million euro to Cyprus". Cyprus News Agency. November 13, 2007. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=NewsLibrary&p_multi=BBAB&d_place=BBAB&p_theme=newslibrary2&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=11CEB9D290E2C8D0&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Retrieved 2010-05-16. "A delegation of the Norwegian EEA Financial Mechanism is on the island to monitor the spending of Norwegian funds given to Cyprus as part of the European Economic Area Agreement. A meeting on this issue was held at the Planning Bureau between the Norwegian delegation and a Cypriot ..." 
  8. "Norway’s FM visits to inaugurate environmental project". Cyprus Mail. June 29, 2008. Archived from the original on 2010-11-05. http://web.archive.org/web/20101105210452/http://www.cyprus-mail.com/cyprus/norway-s-fm-visits-inaugurate-environmental-project. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  9. "Kypros jakter på rike nordmenn" (in Norwegian). Dagsavisen. May 11 2006. http://www.dagsavisen.no/innenriks/article266870.ece. Retrieved 2009-05-06. "Det ble i går kjent at skipsreder John Fredriksen tidligere Norges rikeste mann har gitt opp sitt norske pass og blitt kypriot. Fredriksen kom dermed kypriotene i forkjøpet." 
  10. "Norway's richest man no longer". Aftenposten. May 11, 2006. http://www.aftenposten.no/english/business/article1314163.ece. Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  11. "Skatteflyktet til Kypros" (in Norwegian). Ukeavisenledelse. August 23, 2006. http://www.ukeavisenledelse.no/arkiv/skatteflyktet_til_kypros?utskrift=1. Retrieved 2010-05-15. "Norges rikeste mann, god for minst 33 milliarder kroner, John Fredriksen (61), har gitt opp sitt norske statsborgerskap og allerede fått innvilget kypriotisk – av skattemessige årsaker." 
  12. "Fredriksen blir kypriot" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. May 10 2006. http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/iriks/article1311458.ece. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  13. "Norway's Whilhelmsen moving shipping unit to Malta". Reuters. June 18, 2008. http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKL1860840120080618. Retrieved 2010-05-15. "The changes were aimed at making Norwegian shipping rules more like those in the European Union, but industry groups have said the move might force some to register in tax havens such as Bermuda or Cyprus." 
  14. "Rømmer norsk utbytteskatt" (in Norwegian). E24 Næringsliv. February 9 2007. http://e24.no/boers-og-finans/article1635271.ece. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  15. "Cyprus is surging forward with state-of-the-art homes". Daily Mail. April 9, 2009. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/property/article-1168822/Get-ahead-Med-Cyprus-surging-forward-state-art-homes.html#ixzz0oWXCYdZ6. Retrieved 2010-05-21. "What's more, since Norway's richest man, John Fredriksen, took Cypriot citizenship in 2006, the flow of his fellow countrymen has increased, too, with investors taking advantage of the lowest income tax in Europe and minimal crime rates." 
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Norske pensjonister: Flytter til 8% skatt på Kypros". VG Nett. December 4, 2008. http://www.vg.no/dinepenger/artikkel.php?artid=544780. Retrieved 2009-05-06. "Low taxation, low living costs and summery winter temperature limits more and more Norwegians to settle on the Mediterranean island. Now we have established a Norwegian "colony" in Paphos in Cyprus similar seen in Spain." 

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