A project of strate­gic im­por­tance

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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