Cyprus steams ahead with green, digital, shipping vision

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The new vision for shipping aims at placing Cyprus at the forefront of maritime developments, with a strategy that will take the industry to the next level of green transformation, digital services and a long-overdue ‘one-stop-shop.’

Cyprus is pioneering a seafarer vaccination programme that will assist many crews and shipping companies alike.

Addressing the 5th Cyprus Shipping Forum, hosted by finance and maritime specialists Capital Link, Deputy Minister for Shipping Vassilis Demetriades said the strategic vision for Cyprus explores all possibilities to develop the shipping sector further.

Beyond enhancing the image of Cyprus shipping as a hub and a flag, the new strategic vision is not limited to sustainability or adaptability but also includes extroversion based on the ‘SEA plan’ of a sustainable, extrovert and adaptable industry.

In his speech, “Sustainable – Extrovert – Adaptable – Positioning Cyprus at the Forefront of Industry Developments”, Demetriades said for 25-30 years, Cyprus is constantly growing in the field of shipping, in the past, it was only considered as a quality flag and a shipping centre, today it goes further with a vision.

He explained the use of the term extrovert “because we want to communicate the right image for the sector, we want to come closer to those regulators who decide globally on shipping.

“We want to bridge the gap between shipping and regulators, especially on the issues of green transformation”.

The goal, he said, is for the regulators to understand the specifics and the international character of shipping.

“But also, for us to realise the need to contribute to climate change so that we can have regulations that are realistic, can be implemented and for shipping to maintain its strategic role, both in Europe and at national level”.

Cyprus, he said, plays a leading role in facilitating the change of crews and repatriation of seafarers during the difficult time of the pandemic, but is also at the forefront of a global vaccination programme, which the International Labour Organisation has adopted.

Demetriades said Cyprus would soon proceed with the vaccination of all seafarers on ships under the Cypriot flag or seafarers of ships approaching the island and having a close relationship with Cyprus.

“We are taking social welfare for seafarers one step further and proceed with the vaccination of crews, as we consider this to be an important step so that shipping can function smoothly without any problems.”