Cyprus is out of "the danger zone," Finance Minister Harris Georgiades told CNBC ahead of his meeting Tuesday with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.
"We have come a long way since the springtime," Georgiades said, while acknowledging challenges remain. It was in March when Cyprus suffered a massive banking crisis that spread fear in financial markets around the world.
The news delivered to Lew is the story of an earlier-than-expected turnaround.
Cyprus was just upgraded by Standard & Poor's in November, about a year after its crisis erupted. Compare that to Greece, whose debt was also upgraded in November, but more than four years after its crisis started in 2009. While the so-called Troika (the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund) criticized Greece's extremely slow response to requests for reforms, Cyprus received glowing assessment reports from the get go.
(Read more: S&P's Moritz Kraemer: Europe not out of the woods)
Georgiades suggested the recovery was due to Cyprus' willingness to commit and enact reforms quickly, including the recapitalization of the banking system and budget cuts. "The problem with Greece, decisions were postponed for a long time," said Georgiades, while commending current Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras for his work on that front.
Ultimately Georgiades credits the Cypriots themselves and the structure of the economy that makes it "a good place for business."