Cyprus - Country Commercial Guide
Selling to the Public Sector

Describes how major projects are secured and financed. Explains activities of the multilateral development banks in and other aid-funded projects.

Last published date: 2021-09-30

Selling to the Government

Republic of Cyprus:

For most projects or large-scale purchases, the ROC is required to issue a tender or request for proposals following EU procurement regulations.  Tender documents are typically released in the Greek language, which is an official EU language.  In certain instances, usually for big projects, the tender documents are also released in English.  The United States continues to encourage the ROC to issue more tender documents in English to attract international bidders, particularly on ICT and other global sector tenders.  U.S. companies can bid on any tender either directly or through a local agent.  The government posts all tenders on the e-procurement website where prospective bidders can acquire tender documents and submit their proposals.  To register, and for more detailed information on how the website works, please click here.  Semi-governmental organizations have their own tender boards and evaluating committees.  Under the procurement law, evaluating and awarding tenders is the responsibility of each Ministry’s or state-owned enterprise’s tender board.  A Tenders Review Authority (TRA: http://www.tra.gov.cy/aap/aap.nsf/index_en/index_en?OpenDocument)) examines complaints from bidders and ensures that project awards are not mishandled. 

Information on upcoming tenders is available through the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia, Political/Economic Section (e-mail: nicosiaecon@state.gov).  Alternatively, you can find relevant information through https://www.trade.gov or through the Business Information Database System (BIDS; https://bids.state.gov/). 

Ministry technical committees evaluate government tenders.  Bids are usually evaluated first on technical merit and then on cost, depending on the value of the project.  Bidders on government contracts are advised to offer products/services that meet exact tender specifications. 

The ROC agreed to abide by the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement by way of its accession to the European Union in 2004.

U.S. companies bidding on Government tenders may also qualify for U.S. Government advocacy. A unit of the U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, the Advocacy Center, coordinates U.S. Government interagency advocacy efforts on behalf of U.S. exporters bidding on public sector contracts with international governments and government agencies.  The Advocacy Center works closely with our network of the U.S. Commercial Service worldwide and inter-agency partners to ensure that exporters of U.S. products and services have the best possible chance of winning government contracts.  Advocacy assistance can take many forms but often involves the U.S. Embassy or other U.S. Government agencies expressing support for the U.S. bidders directly to the foreign government.  Consult Advocacy for Foreign Government Contracts for additional information.

Area Administered by Turkish Cypriots:

The “Central Tenders Commission (CTC)” (Note: the website is only available in the Turkish language) in the “Ministry of Finance” is responsible for all “government” tenders except those issued by “municipalities.”  Each “municipality” has its own tender board and follows its own regulations and procedures for issuing a tender.  Tenders are announced in the “Official Gazette” or in a minimum of two local Turkish-language newspapers.  Most large tenders permit participation from international companies, who can participate through an agent, or with a local partner if the tender specifications clearly state that the tender is open for international participation.  The agent or partner must be fully registered in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots in order to represent any international company.                                               

Financing of Projects

Republic of Cyprus:

Cyprus’s sovereign credit rating has been improving since 2013 but remains at low investment grade (BBB- by both S&P and Fitch) or just below investment grade (Ba1 by Moody’s).  A list of the current ratings is available from the  Ministry of Finance.

Obtaining credit from local banks has become easier since 2013, although still constrained by the       general trend towards deleveraging and stricter lending criteria following recapitalization of the        banking sector.  Banks in Cyprus employ all modern methods of cross-border financing, including   letters of credit, bills for collection, documentary credit, and cash against documents.

Multilateral Development Banks and Financing Government Sales. Price, payment terms, and financing can be a significant factor in winning a government contract. Many governments finance public works projects through borrowing from the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB). A helpful guide for working with the MDBs is the Guide to Doing Business with the Multilateral Development Banks (PDF). The U.S. Department of Commerce’s (USDOC) International Trade Administration (ITA) has a Foreign Commercial Service Officer stationed at each of the five different Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs): the African Development Bank; the Asian Development Bank; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; the Inter-American Development Bank; and the World Bank.

Learn more by contacting the:

Area Administered by Turkish Cypriots:

Domestic banks and Turkish Cypriot businesses have limited access to international capital.