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Minister: Shipping companies' move to Cyprus proof of appeal

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus' deputy minister for shipping says the number of companies setting up headquarters in the small east Mediterranean island nation has nearly doubled in the last six years, testament to its growing appeal as a maritime business hub.

Natasa Pilides told the Associated Press in an interview Wednesday that there are currently 203 shipping companies operating in Cyprus — 100 more than in 2013. At least one has elected to relocate to Cyprus from Hong Kong. And with Brexit looming, Brexit, one British company has put most of its ships under the Cypriot flag while two U.K.-based shipping insurance companies are also moving to Cyprus.

Pilides said Cyprus' advantage lies in its stable business environment and clear tax and legal frameworks. Shipping accounts for around 7 percent of Cyprus' economy.

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