A project of strategic importance
The tendering process we have followed for the Concession Agreements concerning the commercial activities of Limassol Port was very demanding because of the very tight timetable we had to adhere to. Finally, we managed to complete it on time, due to the hard work of the team of our Ministry, the team of the Project Manager, Stalo Aristides, the team of the Cyprus Ports Authority, led by the General Manager Mrs Klerides, the team of our advisors and many other colleagues from Independent Authorities and the wider Public Sector.
The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works has applied for some decades now, the following fundamental principles for all its projects: - Zero tolerance to corruption - Transparency - Integrity - EqualTreatment Especially for PPP projects (publicprivate partnerships), like the commercialisation of Limassol Port, the above principles offer added value to a tendering process by attracting the best international companies competing for the same project.
The commercialisation of the activities of Limassol Port is more than a project that offers significant financial benefits to the Cypriot economy and taxpayers. It is a project of strategic i mportance for our country, which will not only improve the Port’s competitiveness in the next decades, but will also help revitalise the economy and accelerate its return to higher percentage growth. The project is the second biggest PPP project in Cyprus to date, and it will serve as a model for the Republic of Cyprus and its efforts in becoming a modern centre forinvestment, trade and services.
This achievement could not have been realised without the close cooperation of the Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA) with the Ministry and its advisors. The reform that this project is bringing to the CPA is fundamental, and I would like to thank both the management and the personnel of CPA for their understanding and cooperation. During the last two years we were informing regularly CPA’s personnel about the choices they would have as well as for the new role of CPA. Through this dialogue we sought to explain that in a rapidly changing international environment we also need to adapt by making appropriate changes otherwise we stay behind. In this context we worked tirelessly and we continue to do so in order to reform CPA from a port owner and operator to a landowner and independent regulator, fully equipped and resourced, based on the current EU standards and practices.
The Cyprus Ports Authority is being upgraded and institutionally strengthened, as it assumes a broader supervisory role. A strong regulatory framework is developed to create an independent institution, free from any dependencies and influences. This will lead the CPA to act as an independent regulator through transparent procedures, specialised monitoring and professional management of all issues.
The CPA and the Operators are to cooperate closely over the next 9 months with a view to achieving the smoothest transfer of all the activities of the Port to the Operators. Key to this process is to ensure the port activities are not interrupted during this transition period.
Concluding, I would like to assure the representatives of the two consortia that the team of the Ministry, which will continue managing the Concession Agreements will be fair and objective in the application of the provisions of the Contracts.