Like Vietnam, unified Cyprus will benefit shipping and lift embargo
Esben Poulsson, Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), told Cyprus ship owners and managers that resolving the island’s political problem of division will help remove Turkey’s embargo on Cyprus-flag vessels.
This in turn will greatly benefit the island’s shipping industry, just as was the case with the unification of Vietnam, he told an audience of maritime leaders in Limassol.
“I believe (lifting Turkey’s embargo on Cyprus-flagged vessels) would have a very positive effect on shipping with benefits for business but also politically.
“Trade would increase. It is a long standing problem and I would think from every point of view, pragmatic, political, business, it would be positive. I hope this happens for Cyprus. I think if south and north Vietnam became one country I don’t see why not Cyprus”, Poulsson said.
Addressing a meeting in Limassol organised by the Cyprus Shipping Chamber for its members as part of his world tour of chamber member states, he praised the contribution of the Cyprus maritime industry and the Chamber’s help in particular to international maritime affairs.
At the same time he praised the relation between the public and the private sector in the shipping industry of Cyprus, saying that cooperation and communication in Cyprus is better than in most ICS member countries.
“Here it reminds me a little bit of Singapore because we enjoy a very co-essential working relationship with our authorities. My impression of Cyprus is that here it maybe be a little more political than we are in Singapore, but nonetheless I think the Government here is quite pro business and quite pro shipping at it should be, because shipping is 7.5% of GDP, which is a lot,” he said.
Referring to his meeting with Transport Minister Marios Demetriades, he said that everybody agrees that there should not be different regulations in one area in the EU or US and that the same rules should apply for everybody.
“And the only way this will work is if the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) implements regulations that we can live with and that are enforced and we all have to live by the same rules. It’s the same like playing football, there is no different rule of the game when you play in China or Germany. There is one rule, period and that should apply to shipping”, he said.
In his speech to CSC members, Poulsson referred to the aims and objectives of the ICS and to the important role it performs in the international shipping scene.
He referred to the future challenges faced by the stakeholders in shipping, such as, the continuous efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from ships, the challenges associated with the need for ships trading to Emission Control Areas, in North America and Europe, to switch to low sulphur fuel and the serious implementation problems that will be created by the eventual entry into force of the IMO Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention.
Poulsson also referred also to the maintenance and enhancement of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as the competent body for the application of international shipping regulations, and the need to enhance further the Image of Shipping.
During his visit, the President of the ICS, accompanied by the ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe, also met with the President of Parliament, Demetris Syllouris and other government officials.
All these meetings, especially the special meeting organised by the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, provided a unique opportunity for the President of the ICS to realise the huge amplitude and the significant infrastructure of the shipping industry in Cyprus as well as the multifaceted work and activities of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber.
Poulsson departed from Cyprus to Greece, the last stop of his worldwide tour to Chamber member countries after his election in June.