Mar­itime lead­ers call for smart, safe and sus­tain­able ship­ping

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

The sixth tri­lat­eral sum­mit be­tween the three lead­ing mar­itime na­tions of the EU – Cyprus, Greece and Malta – took place in Ni­cosia on Fri­day, chaired by the Deputy Min­is­ter of Ship­ping, Natassa Pili­dou, while the Greek del­e­ga­tion was headed by the Min­is­ter of Ship­ping Dr Pana­gi­o­tis Kourou­plis and Malta’s del­e­ga­tion was headed by the coun­try’s Min­is­ter of Trans­port, In­fra­struc­ture and Works Dr. Ian Borg.

The tri­lat­eral meet­ings take place on an an­nual ba­sis to dis­cuss and ex­change views on cur­rent is­sues of mu­tual in­ter­est in ship­ping.

Among other things, is­sues re­lated to the long-term com­pet­i­tive­ness of Euro­pean ship­ping in­dus­tries in world mar­kets and the adop­tion of best prac­tices on en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion were on the agenda.

The three min­is­ters agreed that mar­itime trans­port in gen­eral is fac­ing ma­jor chal­lenges and that ad­di­tional ac­tions are needed to main­tain and fur­ther de­velop an at­trac­tive, smart, safe and sus­tain­able ship­ping.

The three of­fi­cials, within the sum­mit’s frame­work, also met with Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades who wel­comed the con­ver­gence of such meet­ings, not­ing that they are very use­ful for the wider mar­itime sec­tor which is of grave im­por­tance for the Cypriot econ­omy.

Af­ter the meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Anas­tasi­ades, the three min­is­ters gave a joint press con­fer­ence.

“Europe should un­der­stand that ship­ping not only en­hances their sta­tus but brings in more than EUR 140 bil­lion and 2.1 mil­lion direct and in­di­rect jobs,” said Kourou­plis at the joint press con­fer­ence.

On her part, Deputy Min­is­ter Pili­dou said dis­cussed how the three coun­tries can have that they a pos­i­tive im­pact on the re­duc­tion of pol­lu­tion in ship­ping and the im­ple­men­ta­tion of best prac­tices.

All three min­is­ters said red tape con­tin­ues to get in the way of many in­vest­ments in the sec­tor, while Malta’s Min­is­ter Borg also pointed out the need to pro­mote the cre­ation of jobs for Mal­tese, Cypriot and Greek na­tion­als in ship­ping.

Mean­while, in a meet­ing be­tween the Greek Min­is­ter of Ship­ping and Is­land Pol­icy and Cyprus Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and Pub­lic Or­der Ionas Niko­laou signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing on the devel­op­ment of co­op­er­a­tion on is­sues re­lated to the es­tab­lish­ment and op­er­a­tion of the Coast Guard.

In com­ments made af­ter their meet­ing, Ni­co­laou said that the gov­ern­ment’s pol­icy is to pro­ceed with the es­tab­lish­ment of a Coast Guard in Cyprus, which will as­sume all the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the Mar­itime Po­lice, as well as other ad­di­tional re­spon­si­bil­i­ties aris­ing ei­ther from our laws or from in­ter­na­tional con­ven­tions, which are largely in line with the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the Coast Guard in Greece.

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