Mer­chant ship­ping is an “in­valu­able as­set”

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Mer­chant ship­ping con­sti­tutes an “in­valu­able as­set of our coun­try,” Trans­port Min­is­ter Mar­ios Deme­tri­ades said on Tues­day, pledg­ing that ship­ping is a joint pri­or­ity for him­self and the gov­ern­ment.

Ad­dress­ing an event in Li­mas­sol on “Ship­ping: an in­dus­try of pas­sion, knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence” or­gan­ised by Mar­avil­hosa, Deme­tri­ades said this com­mit­ment is key to the suc­cess of the ship­ping in­dus­try, not only for the pri­vate sec­tor but for the pub­lic sec­tor as well.

He added that the fact that Cyprus is a world class ship­ping cen­tre, “is at­trib­uted to a large ex­tent to its pas­sion­ate ship­ping peo­ple in the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors, their knowl­edge, know-how and ex­per­tise.”

“Mer­chant ship­ping is a sec­tor of which we are very proud. It rep­re­sents an in­valu­able as­set for our coun­try and is on the top of our pri­or­ity list of the whole Gov­ern­ment, of the re­spon­si­ble Min­istry and also the Pres­i­dent him­self,” he said.

Re­call­ing that the Cyprus flag ranks among the lead­ing ship reg­istries in­ter­na­tion­ally and has the third largest mer­chant fleet within the Euro­pean Union boast­ing high stan­dards of qual­ity and safety, Deme­tri­ades said that Cyprus is not just a flag reg­istry, it is a whole mar­itime cen­tre.

“Our in­te­grated mar­itime clus­ter com­prises ship own­ing, ship man­age­ment and char­ter­ing com­pa­nies, as well as com­pa­nies in­volved in other ship­ping re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties, such as ma­rine in­sur­ance, equip­ment sup­pli­ers, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, ship bunker­ing and the ports,” he went on to say.

Not­ing that the sec­tor em­ploys 40,000 peo­ple, Deme­tri­ades stressed that he strongly be­lieves that the sec­tor can grow more and it can em­ploy more peo­ple, both on­shore but also off­shore as well.

He said the gov­ern­ment will of­fer a num­ber of schol­ar­ships for those in­ter­ested to at­tend cour­ses on mar­itime in­dus­try. “We have to en­cour­age these new cour­ses be­cause we have to ac­cept that we need new blood in the in­dus­try”, he con­cluded.

Muriel Matta co­or­di­nated the panel dis­cus­sion at the Elias Beach Ho­tel in or­der to share real-life ship­ping sto­ries and pro­vide a learn­ing ses­sion for new in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als, as well as to en­gage a di­a­logue be­tween ship­ping ex­ec­u­tives and young aspir­ing pro­fes­sion­als.

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