An Island Divided...With An Incentive To Become United

The way Andreas Kaisis tells it, over cognac and cigars at a diplomat-filled Nicosia restaurant, Cyprus might not have become the business hub it is today if war hadn't smashed the tiny republic's economy two decades ago. "Most of the major revenue sources were cut off behind enemy lines" after Turkish forces invaded the Mediterranean island's northern third in 1974, says Kaisis, a jovial entrepreneur who fled the north, leaving behind a thriving truck- and bus-building business. The occupation stripped the Greek-speaking Republic of Cyprus of its largest port, much of its richest farmland, and its leading tourism and manufacturing centers. "Fortunately," says Kaisis, whose massive International Merchandising Center exhibition hall is due to open in September, "Cyprus was well positioned to prosper."

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