Cyprus Shipping Continues Strong
Address by Minister of Communications and Works, Marios Demetriades, at Cyprus Shipping Chamber's Annual General Meeting.
|Published on: 06 April 2015|
It is a great pleasure to communicate with the Cyprus Shipping Chamber and express my sincere appreciation and best wishes to all its members. It is also an opportunity to thank every single one, for the continuing trust and commitment shown to Cyprus and the Cyprus flag over the years.
The Cyprus Shipping Chamber, since its establishment in 1989, has been transformed into a very important professional organisation with direct and active participation in the shipping affairs of Cyprus. It has been the main representative body, of the locally based shipping industry and as such, the closest collaborator of the Ministry of Communications and Works and of the Department of Merchant Shipping, in the development and implementation of the Government’s maritime policy.
The public and the private shipping sectors of our island, during the last decades, shared a common vision and worked closely together towards the same targets. The result of those efforts is impressive. Cyprus has become a fully-fledged, well-known and respected maritime centre, combining both a sovereign flag and a resident shipping industry which is prominent for its high quality services and standards of safety.
Despite the international adverse economic conditions and the financial difficulties that our country faces in the last years, the Cyprus shipping sector managed to maintain its competitiveness and perspectives, as a result of combined efforts from the public and private sectors. Shipping has, in fact, evolved in the recent years, as one of the leading sectors of our economy and “navigates” Cyprus to recovery, in its capacity to act as a wide gateway of foreign investments to our island.
Given its importance, Cyprus Shipping and its sustainable growth, is one of the main concerns and priorities of the Cyprus Government.
Both myself, as the political leader of Merchant Shipping, and our government do recognise that the Shipping sector has been stagnated during the last years and action is needed. This is due to both the increasing competition that Cyprus faces from competitive maritime centres, as well as the problems that the shipping industry has been experiencing in recent years. Our shipping product needs indeed some kind of rebranding and restructuring. We need to become more aggressive in promoting our flag and intensify efforts to attract additional companies to the island.
In an effort to develop a holistic strategic development plan for the Cyprus shipping industry, a study has been recently completed. The study proposes measures that would strengthen the Cyprus merchant fleet and shipping cluster.
I take this opportunity to thank CIPA for financing this study, as well as accepting to finance two shipping events that will take place abroad this year.
Taking into consideration the study, as well as other recommendations made from both the Department and the private sector, we are planning to implement a number of operational changes in the next few months. Among others, it includes the offering of incentives to the private sector for business development, the strengthening of offices abroad, the intensification of promotion events and other operational changes, including the upgrading of our software programs and 24 hour service for our clients. I also intend to create a permanent link between the private and public sector with the objective to find ways to promote shipping in Cyprus. Our first mission will be to prepare a package of incentives that could be offered to maritime companies to relocate to Cyprus.
In the medium term, we also need to change the way we work, by offering to the department of merchant shipping the necessary flexibility to fulfil both its regulatory, as well as its business development role. It has already been included in the terms of reference of the restructuring study, which is currently under process. For all the above, we need the support of the industry. Your support. I take this opportunity to assure our friends and collaborators in the shipping industry, that the Ministry of Communications and Works will do its utmost to enhance the competitiveness of our flag and maritime cluster.
We look into the future with optimism and confidence. I am convinced that the shipping industry of Cyprus secures through its knowledge, expertise and adequate human capital, the further development and growth in the sector and revitalisation of the Cyprus economy.
I extend once again my appreciation for your endeavours and contribution to Cyprus Shipping. I am confident that the excellent cooperation between our Ministry, the Department of Merchant Shipping and the Cyprus Shipping Chamber will be strengthened even more. I wish every success in your work.
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