* Maritime sector needs to be strengthened *
Commercial shipping is highly competitive and we should work to strengthen it, Transport Minister Marios Demetriades said in his speech at the “Shipping Industry Conference Gala” in Limassol.
Demetriades repeated recent statements that a government team is preparing a study to restructure the shipping sector altogether, both the public services and the infrastructure for the private sector.
He also said that although shipping in Cyprus has been growing in the last two years, “we live in a highly competitive environment and we should make great efforts to maintain the advantages we offer as a shipping country to be able to increase the presence of shipping companies on the island”.
We live in an ever changing environment and only those who can adapt will be able to survive in the new era, he said, adding that “we have started to implement some measures, but we need to do more because it is a very competitive sector”.
On the part of the government, he said, the “necessary changes are required by the competent departments in order to become more flexible in the way we work”.
Many countries, he said, come up with new ideas which follow a more flexible model and have assigned the private sector to promote their flag.
He also said a team at the Ministry is working to prepare a study on the restructuring of commercial shipping and will come up with suggestions on how to proceed.
Over the weekend, the minister paid an official visit to Iran, a country with an enormous potential and a shipping fleet of its own.
The minister was accompanied by the President of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, the Deputy President of the Cyprus Union of Ship-owners, as well as by a delegation of Cypriot businessmen.
Demetriades met with the Minister of Rural Development, the Deputy Minister for Ports and Maritime, the Deputy Minister for International Affairs and Commerce, the Deputy Minister of Petrol, as well as the Deputy Minister for Civil Aviation.
He also had meetings with the CEOs of aviation and shipping companies in an effort to attract more companies to set up their base in Cyprus.
In earlier comments during a panel discussion on “Shipping: an industry of Passion, Knowledge and Experience” organised by Maravilhosa, specialised in business consultancy and advice, Demetriades said Cyprus was a world class shipping centre, and attributed the success to a large extent to its passionate shipping people in the private and public sectors, their knowledge, know-how and expertise.
He added that merchant shipping is a business sector which represents an invaluable asset for Cyprus and consequently is placed on the top of the ministry’s priority list.
The Minister expressed the view that Cyprus has the potential to become an important energy centre in the Mediterranean and the sustainable growth of Cyprus shipping is one of the priorities of the government. Furthermore, Demetriades stated that the Ministry of Transport will do its utmost to enhance the competitiveness of the Cyprus flag and Cyprus maritime cluster, in order to consolidate and further develop Cyprus role in world shipping as well as to provide adequate conditions for a sustainable growth of the shipping sector in Cyprus.
The founder of Maravilhosa, Muriel Matta stated that shipping is not just an ordinary career but an extraordinary vocation and by addressing the challenges of the shipping industry from different perspectives, the aim is to inspire every shipping professional and add value to their career.
Five young panellists from the maritime industry in Cyprus shared real life stories and insights, in order to provide a learning session for new industry professionals, as well as to engage in dialogue between shipping executives and young aspiring professionals. The event was sponsored by Maravilhosa, Tototheo Group, EDT Shipmanagement Ltd, Intergaz Ltd, Aphentrica Marine Insurance Brokers Ltd and Lowland International Shipping Cyprus Ltd.