Cyprus a ‘great mar­itime suc­cess story’, says IMO chief

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE - Anas­tasi­ades gives com­mit­ment to green ship­ping

Cyprus ship­ping has been praised as a ‘great suc­cess story’ by the head of the world mar­itime body, while the gov­ern­ment, hav­ing re­cently up­graded its mar­itime depart­ment to a ju­nior min­istry, has pledged to adopt new strate­gies to im­prove in­fras­truc­ture and help tackle green­house gas emis­sions.

Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades ad­dressed the an­nual gen­eral assem­bly of the Cyprus Ship­ping Cham­ber, the biggest in­dus­try group and a lead­ing force of in­flu­ence in the mar­itime world.

Anas­tasi­ades said: “We are well aware of the fact that the Cyprus ship­ping sec­tor op­er­ates in a con­tin­u­ously evolv­ing and highly com­pet­i­tive global en­vi­ron­ment, and this, in turn, re­quires sta­bil­ity and in­no­va­tive plan­ning which sup­ports long-term plan­ning and in­vest­ment. Con­sol­i­dat­ing and en­hanc­ing the com­pet­i­tive­ness of our flag and our mar­itime clus­ter re­mains one of the most important pri­or­i­ties of the gov­ern­ment.”

Ad­dress­ing Ki-tack Lim, the Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of the In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Or­gan­i­sa­tion (IMO), he said: “Cyprus will con­tinue to ac­tively and con­struc­tively par­tic­i­pate in the work and fu­ture evo­lu­tion of IMO, in­clud­ing on new strate­gies adopted, such as the global re­duc­tion of green­house gas emis­sions from ships.”

The pres­i­dent said he was con­fi­dent the re­cent up­grade of the Depart­ment of Mer­chant Ship­ping to a ju­nior min­istry “will evolve into an ef­fec­tive and ef­fi­cient one-stop-ship­ping­shop, which will de­velop, im­ple­ment and pro­mote strate­gies and poli­cies so as to pro­vide a more busi­ness friendly ser­vice at all lev­els..

“De­vel­op­ing a State Ship­ping Pol­icy in­volves the in­cor­po­ra­tion of a num­ber of important el­e­ments, such as, among oth­ers, a com­pet­i­tive ship­ping tax­a­tion frame­work. The gov­ern­ment will con­tinue ex­am­in­ing ways of in­tro­duc­ing fur­ther tax and other in­cen­tives, within the frame­work of Euro­pean Union reg­u­la­tions, in or­der to en­sure that Cyprus re­mains com­pet­i­tive as a ship­ping cen­tre.

“In par­al­lel, ‘blue growth’ in the fields of mar­itime train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion, re­search and de­vel­op­ment, as well as tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion, are also important el­e­ments that will be fur­ther pro­moted and form part of our state ship­ping pol­icy.

“In ad­di­tion, the gov­ern­ment has given its full sup­port to the Cyprus Ship­ping Cham­ber, in close co-oper­a­tion with a num­ber of other mar­itime clus­ter stake­hold­ers in Cyprus, for the es­tab­lish­ment of a Cyprus “Foun­da­tion of the Sea”.

The Foun­da­tion is based on a Pub­lic Pri­vate Part­ner­ship struc­ture in­tended to act as a fo­rum which, through proper re­search and de­vel­op­ment, will pro­vide guid­ance as to the type of re­search, ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing that is re­quired in the marine and mar­itime fields.

Anas­tasi­ades added that it is well known, that Cyprus plays an important lead­ing role in the In­ter­na­tional Ship­ping scene, with the 11th largest ship­ping fleet world­wide, the third largest in the Euro­pean Union and the largest third­party Ship-man­age­ment Cen­tre in the EU.

He said ef­forts to­wards the lift­ing of the Turkey em­bargo on Cyprus ships call­ing at Turk­ish ports will con­tinue and be fur­ther in­ten­si­fied.

“To this end, I am pleased to ob­serve that a num­ber of ship­ping com­pa­nies have trans­ferred their head­quar­ters to Cyprus, whilst in the first five months of 2018, 52 new ships were reg­is­tered in the Cyprus Registry and the com­pa­nies us­ing Cyprus ton­nage tax sys­tem in­creased by 12,” he added.

IMO Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, Ki-tack Lim in his speech said that he con­sid­ers Cyprus a great suc­cess story in ship­ping in­ter­na­tion­ally and a ma­jor player in the mar­itime world. In ad­di­tion, he made spe­cial ref­er­ence to the com­mend­able work of the IMO and the ship­ping in­dus­try to move to­wards an even “greener” in­ter­na­tional ship­ping in­dus­try.

Lim turned to the IMO’s En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Com­mit­tee’s adop­tion of the ini­tial strat­egy for re­duc­ing green­house gas emis­sions from in­ter­na­tional ship­ping, not­ing that this de­ci­sion has been ac­claimed “as a de­vel­op­ment of his­toric global sig­nif­i­cance.”

He said, “for the first time, there is a clear pol­icy com­mit­ment to a com­plete phase out of CHG emis­sions from ships, a spe­cific link­age to the Paris Agree­ment and a se­ries of clear lev­els of am­bi­tion in­clud­ing at least a 50% cut in emis­sions from the sec­tor by 2050.”

Lim added: “We at the IMO must do our part to en­sure that the planet has a sus­tain­able fu­ture.”

CSC Pres­i­dent Themis Pa­padopou­los said af­ter the in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial cri­sis and the sub­se­quent tur­moil in global ship­ping, 2017 has led to a more bal­anced sup­ply and de­mand, pro­vid­ing the grounds for cau­tious op­ti­mism in the near term.

Pa­padopou­los said that de­spite the chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ment, Cyprus has not only man­aged to main­tain both the res­i­dent in­dus­try and the Cyprus registry in good shape, but to record sig­nif­i­cant in­creases, as in the last five years there has been an in­crease of 65% of ship­ping com­pa­nies reg­is­tered un­der Cyprus ton­nage tax sys­tem, while rev­enue from ship­ping has in­creased by over 26%.

Wel­com­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of the Deputy Min­istry for Ship­ping, Pa­padopou­los said with the right up­grad­ing to the ser­vices and sup­port of­fered by the Min­istry to res­i­dent com­pa­nies and Cyprus flag users it will en­able fur­ther growth.

The Cham­ber’s Direc­tor Gen­eral, Thomas Kaza­kos, praised In­te­rior Min­is­ter Con­stanti­nos Petrides for the in­tro­duc­tion of the ju­nior min­istry, headed by Natasa Pilides.

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