All investments in manufacturing of goods and services sectors are all welcome in Northern Cyprus. YAGA places priority on investments that leads to increased productivity, employment, export and the use of new technology in the economy, and it provides assistance to all investors. In this respect, with its resources and competitive advantages, Northern Cyprus offers various challenging opportunities for potential investors and exporters in many sectors that have growth potential. The Investment Guidance and Promotion Strategy of YAGA, derived from the sectoral statistics, global trends and the findings of previous studies consistent with the good practice principles, indicates the sectors of great growth potential and of special interest to the foreign investors. YAGA facilitated the careful selection of the primary sectors, which possess high comparative advantage potentials and pursue with their investment promotion and developments. As it is stated in its Law, YAGA pays a great deal of attention to the effective use of limited resources of the island and to the protection of environment carefully considering and evaluating investments projects.
Tourism (specialized, non-seasonal or off-seasonal)
Special Interest Tourism
In the global context, since the needs of the tourists are becoming more diverse, the tourism industry is becoming more and more challenging and competitive. YAGA is well aware of the changing needs and the importance of satisfying these needs. Taking these into account, the sustainability of the tourism sector has been found out to be lying on the grounds of developing diversified investment opportunities with the concept called “special interest tourism”. With its multicultural history and heritage, Northern Cyprus is foreseen to be one of the main special interest tourism destinations in the region. There are tremendous potential for investors in Health tourism, Yacht tourism together with Eco\Agro tourism areas.
With its unspoiled nature, warm weather, and the local hospitality together with other facilities, Northern Cyprus provides the suitable environment for developing various health tourism products, for instance care homes for elderly tourists. Convenient airports, the availability of health care services, and qualified multilingual human resources enable both local and foreign guests to spend some of their precious times in serenity and joy.
Due to its geographic location, rich cultural heritage, its fascinating nature and the strong will Northern Cyprus is a promising candidate to become an important destination in the Mediterranean. As one of the two accepted yachting regions, Mediterranean has the best climate, suitable winds, natural bays, and a rich multicultural heritage. The rising pollution, berthing/servicing costs together with the progressing berthing demand in the region have been shifting the preference tendencies away from Western Mediterranean to cheaper and more virgin regions in Eastern Mediterranean. In the region, Northern Cyprus is already on the yachting routes of international yachters with convenient coastlines, and lower berthing costs, but surprisingly there exists a negligible amount of berthing capacity at the moment with two new marinas under construction by foreign investors. Progressing demand clearly reveals the urgent need for investing on additional marinas in Northern Cyprus.
Gaining wide popularity as an alternative to mass tourism, tourists have been exhibiting a greater tendency to travel to experience different lifestyles, cultures, and cuisines in different countries. There is a common belief supported by available studies stating that Eco-Agro Tourism is one of the most important types of tourism that will create and maintain the sustainability in the sector. Northern Cyprus as a mosaic of numerous civilizations and cultures possesses and offers various creative investment opportunities for eco and agro tourism products.
Northern Cyprus has recently started experiencing better diversity in special tourism through numerous events such as Tulip Festival, Famagusta Culture and Arts Festival, Büyükkonuk eco-village eco-day, Mehmetcik Grape Festival, Bellapais Music Festival, orchid-walk.
Conference Tourism has been gaining significant popularity within the last couple of years signaling a growing potential for Northern Cyprus to become one of the favorite conference tourism destinations and a hub in the region. 5-star hotels providing full range of conference and casino gaming facilities have been a complementary package and a major attraction for the prospects of the sector.
Higher and Continuing Education
Northern Cyprus places a strong emphasize on raising quality of education, since the sector is perceived to be the most crucial factor in the economy enabling the sectors recruit qualified labor tailored to their needs. Due to its competitive and innovative nature, it is highly essential for the sector to raise and maintain quality of education and promote research and development through further investments in this sector. In line with this, the research and development activities of universities together with the technological infrastructures and affinity they have been developing possess a potential prerequisites for the development of ICT sector. Just like other sectors, foreign investments are perceived to be important in attracting new technologies, which help stimulate the quality and diversity of the existing academic programs. The presence of international stakeholders and the inflow of FDI in higher education sector will help Northern Cyprus become a center of excellence in higher education and research and development areas.
Specialized, Niche Investment, High Value Added Agriculture and Food Processing (Agri-Industry)
In order to contribute to the competitiveness of the agriculture sector, alternative crops and products in addition to citrus have to be developed in order to generate higher market demand and higher value added. Specialized, niche agriculture sector is considered to be a promising and a high-value creating sub-sector of agriculture. Hellim (cheese), Verigo Grape, pomegranate, caper, olive oil, citrus honey, carob, and herbs are only few of the various products Northern Cyprus offers. For instance, Verigo is a well-known Organic Cypriot Grape, which has an increasing demand in the EU. It has a distinct and wonderful taste with very large and rounded grains. The bunch of this grape is big, tight and finned-conic in shape. With a very unique taste and a character, Hellim is also one of the most important examples of processed food products in Cyprus. Hellim and Verigo are two of the strongest candidates to become a world wide known niche products of Cyprus, and they are in need of further investments and marketing. Moreover, olive oil, citrus honey, carob, natural oregano honey are some of the examples that poses niche investment opportunities.
ICT– Software Development, Telecommunications
In the light of global trends, available resources and sector analysis, YAGA recognizes the importance and strongly believes that the ICT sector could be one of the leading sectors in Northern Cyprus. Within this mission, YAGA has been conducting a sector-focus study to develop a better understanding on the needs of the sector and to be able to ensure further developments in ICT sector.
Although the development of the sector have not been fully reach its maturation, Northern Cyprus offer various opportunities for investors in this sector such as the availability of number of universities with more than 100 thousand students from different countries, young Turkish Cypriot graduates, the availability of Techno parks with special and generous incentive scheme, a high level of technological affinity with low prices for telecommunications with 3G, 3+ Terabyte Network Infrastructure and the availability of a super computer capable of ’12 trillion transactions per second’. There are a number of private and public network and internet service providers as well.
Energy, especially alternative energy
Currently, solely dependent on fossil fuel, Energy sector is one of the sectors that should be closely monitored with respect to alternative energies. This is mostly due to the prospective EU membership of Northern Cyprus with respect to the obligation of generating some percentage of the energy through alternative energy resources in the EU. Fortunately, the island has an excellent potential for solar and wind energy generation, and investments in these areas are crucial in building up for the ”know-how” required.