Cyprus will be at the spotlight of international shipping on October 6-9, as the Maritime Cyprus Conference 2013 will take place in the southern coastal town of Limassol where the heart of the shipping industry beats.
Titled "Shipping today," the conference will discuss the world shipping industry’s hot issues in three distinct parts namely remodeling shipping, environment and shipping, a turning point and looking ahead to the future. The conference will be attended by approximately 700 participants among which the International Maritime Organisation Secretary General Koji Sekimizu, European officials and prominent ship-owners from all over the world.
"We are confident the organization of the Maritime Cyprus Conference 2013 will give further impetus to the Cypriot shipping and will promote our country internationally," Ministry of Communications and Works Permanent Secretary Alecos Michaelides said a press conference in view of the Conference which takes place since 1989 every two years.
Michaelides said that Cyprus has the tenth larger merchant fleer internationally and the third in the European Union and is one of the biggest ship-management centres internationally.
Pointing out that shipping contributes annually 6% of the Cypriot GDP, Michaelides added that "in these difficult times shipping could play a leading role in the efforts to achieve growth and the attraction of foreign investments to our island."
The opening ceremony will take place on October 6 during a reception hosted by Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential palace. Anastasiades will also address the conference the next day.
Replying to a question, Michaelides said shipping has overcome the initial shock after the Eurogroup decisions last March over a €10 bailout for Cyprus which featured a controversial conversion of uninsured deposits to capital, the so-called bail-in, in a bid to cover the capital shortfall of the island’s largest banks. Following the bail-in capital restrictions were imposed in a bid to avert a wave of deposits outflows, which however affected the ship-management companies operating on the island.
"There were consequences and difficulties, which have been overcome following actions of the Ministry, the Department of Merchant Shipping and all stake holders," Michaelides said.
Answering a question on the future of the Cypriot shipping, Michaelides said "despite the Turkish embargo, the Ministry along with our partners and the DMS is trying to overcome any problems and to promote the Cypriot flag, at least for the ships which don’t dock in Turkish ports."
Turkey, which invaded Cyprus in 1974 and occupies 37% of the island’s territory, introduced in 1987 restrictive measures, prohibiting Cyprus-flag vessels to call Turkish ports. In May 1997, Turkey issued new instructions to its ports and harbors extending prohibitions against ships under a foreign flag (of any nationality) sailing to Turkish ports directly from any Cypriot port under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus or against ships of any nationality related to the Republic of Cyprus in terms of ownership or shipmanagement.
Get all the latest news and videos in your inbox. Register FREE