Adami: “We can develop a sustainable shipping model for Cyprus”
The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works will do its utmost to enhance the competitiveness of the Cyprus flag and its maritime cluster, Minister Marios Demetriades has said, noting that “our shipping product needs rebranding and restructuring.
Addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, Minister Demetriades said that Cyprus has become “a fully-fledged, well-known and respected maritime centre, combining both a sovereign flag and a resident shipping industry which is prominent for its high quality services and standards of safety”.
He noted that “despite the international adverse economic conditions and the financial difficulties that our country has faced in the last years, the Cyprus shipping sector has managed to maintain its competitiveness and perspectives, as a result of combination of efforts from the public and private sectors. Shipping has, in fact, evolved in recent years, into one of the leading drivers of our economy and is helping Cyprus navigate to recovery, in its capacity as a gateway of foreign investments to our island”.
Given its importance, he added, “shipping and its sustainable growth is one of the main concerns and priorities of the government”.
“Both myself, as the political head of merchant shipping, and our government realise that the shipping sector has stagnated during the last years and action is needed. This is due to both the increasing competition that Cyprus faces from competitive maritime centres, as well as the problems that the shipping industry has been experiencing in recent years. Our shipping product needs some kind of rebranding and restructuring. We need to become more aggressive in promoting our flag and intensify efforts to attract more companies to the island”, he said.
The Minister noted that “in an effort to develop a comprehensive strategic development plan for the shipping sector, a study has been recently completed. The study proposes measures that would strengthen the Cyprus merchant fleet and the shipping cluster”.
Taking into consideration the study, he said, “as well as other recommendations made from both the Department of Merchant Shipping and the private sector, we are planning to implement a number of operational changes in the next few months. Among others, it includes the offering of incentives to the private sector for business development, the strengthening of offices abroad, the intensification of promotion events and other operational changes, including upgrading of our software programmes and 24 hour service for our clients”.
“I also intend to create a permanent link between the private and public sector with the objective to find ways to promote shipping in Cyprus. Our first mission will be to prepare a package of incentives that could be offered to maritime companies to relocate to Cyprus”, he added.
In the medium term, he said, “we also need to change the way we work, by providing the Department of Merchant Shipping with the necessary flexibility to fulfil both its regulatory, as well as its business development role. It has already been included in the terms of reference of the restructuring study, which is currently under review”.
He expressed his conviction “that the shipping industry of Cyprus secures through its knowledge, expertise and adequate human capital, the further development and growth in the sector and revitalisation of the Cyprus economy”.
Capt. Eugen Adami, President of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, told officials and delegates at the 26th Annual General Meeting at the “Four Seasons” Hotel, in Limassol, that, with the introduction of specific additional measures related to the lifting of the Turkish embargo on Cyprus ships, the creation of an “Institute of the Sea” and the upgrade of the Maritime Administration, Cyprus can successfully develop a “Sustainable Shipping Model”.
In this respect, Capt. Adami appealed to all political parties to give serious consideration to the findings of the “Study for the Future of Cyprus Shipping”, which was initiated by the Ministry of Transport and urged them to approve the relevant bill pending in Parliament for the creation of an “Under-Secretary for Shipping”.
The CSC President said that the new position, in combination with the formation of a comprehensive national policy on shipping, will give the necessary i mpetus for further growth and enhancement of this sector which is so important economy.
In his address to the CSC meeting, President Nicos Anastasiades praised and congratulated the Chamber for its continuous contribution and active involvement in further developing of shipping sector.
He also described shipping, as one of the main sectors helping in the full recovery of the economy and as a catalyst for new economic growth.
President Anastasiades also referred to the study and stated that based on its findings,
the the prospects for further development of Cyprus shipping is both tangible and viable.
During the meeting, Andreas Chrysostomou, Acting Director of the Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS), also gave a presentation about the latest developments. Chrysostomou has been nominated by the Cyprus government and is one of the main candidates for the position of Secretary General at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), for which the Transport Minister is also lobbying to secure, together with members of the CSC and other active ship owners and ship-managers.