Cyprus Marine Club President, Captain Eberhard Koch (left) with host Muriel Matta and Deputy Minister for Shipping, Vassilis Demetriades

Cyprus shipping ministry digital revamp next year

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The Cyprus Deputy Ministry for Shipping should be fully digitised in around a year, the junior minister told a gathering of ship owners and maritime executives in Limassol.

Speaking at the Cyprus Marine Club, deputy minister Vassilios Demetriades elaborated on the new services and improvements that will be implemented, saying he deems it feasible that the revamp will be completed “in around a year”.

The deputy minister also called for a stronger partnership and communication between government and the shipping community, who, he said, “could serve the ministry as advisors and contribute their vast experience in taking up challenges facing the shipping industry.”

In July, a few days after being sworn in, Demetriades met the Cyprus Shipping Chamber that called on him to speed up reforms of the maritime sector and ministry restructure to make it more competitive as a key pillar driving the economy.

Marine Club host and training influencer Muriel Matta quizzed Demetriades on his first 100 days in office with the deputy minister outlining the next steps in the promotion and modernisation of Cyprus maritime administration and his plan for a long-term strategy for Cyprus shipping with a vision and concrete objectives for the next two decades.

He said the Covid-19 pandemic harmed the Cypriot economy and the shipping sector, with the biggest difficulties being in crew changes due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

Demetriades said his department’s priorities remain boosting maritime education, encouraging prospects for women in the maritime industry, as well as a green transformation of the sector.

He added that since he was appointed after a mini-cabinet reshuffle on July 10, he has visited almost all the political party leaders and has garnered strong support on all issues related to the development of the sector, as well as seafarers’ rights.

Demetriades, an avid sportsman, wants to encourage various activities that improve the health and lifestyle of the entire shipping community, and his ministry will be organising the first “Running for Seafarers” event on the sidelines of the Maritime Cyprus conference in October 2021.