Exports of manufactured products constitute the bulk of Cyprus domestic exports representing approximately 60% of total exports. Over the last decade there has been a significant rise in the manufacture of medium- and high-technology products and semi-customized small-batch products. The main growth areas have been in the ICT sector, manufacturing parts, instruments and electronics, as well as consumer products such as cosmetics. Production of pharmaceuticals, cement and fabricated metal items are all well established export industries and are performing strongly. Record-breaking tourist arrivals over the past few years has also stimulated growth in the food and beverages industry, which accounts for over 30% of total manufacturing production. Given the island’s small domestic market, manufacturers are striving to become more international in outlook in order to grow.
A good example of this is Elysée, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2019. The award-winning Nicosia-based company designs and develops irrigation and piping systems that are sold in 65 countries from Europe and the Middle East to South Africa, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Equally ambitious and innovative is Limassol-based Muskita Aluminium Industries Ltd, which designs and manufactures aluminium products and systems that are used across the globe in sectors ranging from aviation to agriculture. With 350 highly trained staff, the over 60-year old company was a forerunner in the European aluminium industry and holds many design patents and pioneered the use of robotics in Cypriot industry, both in its warehousing and production, and prides itself on fostering green initiatives. Today, Muskita is one of the most technologically advanced firms in its industry worldwide and the largest, most progressive factory of its kind in Cyprus. The company’s systems have been tested and certified to withstand the severe rain and snow of Northern Europe, the pounding cyclones of the Indian Ocean and the searing heat of the Middle East. Its products are used internationally, a testament to the cutting-edge technology, engineering, quality and skilled workforce that have been paramount to the company’s current and future success.
Pharmaceuticals are one of the key export industries in Cyprus. Quality and affordability are the hallmarks of Cypriot-made pharmaceuticals, which are sold in over 100 countries across the globe. The industry is led by Medochemie Ltd and the aforementioned Remedica, which invest heavily in research and innovation and spend significantly on continuously upskilling their workforces. Medochemie Ltd, founded in 1976, develops, manufactures and distributes mostly generic pharmaceuticals and invests up to 7% of its turnover in research and innovation. The company has 13 manufacturing plants and facilities, of which nine are in Cyprus, one in the Netherlands and three in Vietnam. With its multinational staff of 1,670, the company has expanded from its Cyprus base into promising markets across the world – to the Middle East and Africa, Far East and the Americas – and has 21 offices and operates in 107 countries. Cyprus’ ideal location enables these two award-winning companies in Limassol to distribute their products to markets in the region and far beyond. Their products bear ‘made in the EU’ labels – a badge of quality that assures consumers that what they are buying has met rigorous testing standards.
Another major manufacturer and one of Cyprus’ biggest exporters is Vassiliko Cement Works, which boasts Europe’s largest single clinker production line and operates its own eponymous port. Founded in 1963, the company has been listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) since 1996. A decade later, to satisfy growing demand, Vassiliko revamped its whole plant with an initial investment of €180 million. The company has an annual capacity of two million tons of cement, more than twice the island’s domestic needs, allowing it to supply international customers across the region of the Eastern Mediterranean. Vassiliko has a variety of programs to ensure continuous training and upgrading the skills of its 340-strong workforce, and a ‘talent academy’ that trains unemployed graduates for six months to a year, some of whom enter the workforce when vacancies arise.