Shipping ministry to spend more on IT, careers

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The junior shipping ministry plans to spend 17% more next year on digital transformation and scholarships for students who seek a maritime sector career.

Deputy Minister for Shipping Vassilis Demetriades told House Finance Committee MPs that the department’s spending for 2022 has increased from €14.6 mln to €17.2 mln, with revenues expected to be 91% higher at €15.4 mln.

“The shipping sector promises great prospects for Cyprus,” he told MPs.

Cyprus shipping has proved to be resilient amidst the pandemic, Demetriades said, with the shipping registry and ship-management services enjoying growth during COVID-19.

He said the Cypriot registry currently numbers more than 1,000 ocean-going vessels out of 1,750 ships registered with the Cyprus flag with a total tonnage close to 25 mln.

Shipping companies registered under the competitive tonnage tax system have almost tripled in the last decade, from 100 in 2012 to 172 in 2017 and 275 today.

“We adopted the National Strategy for Shipping which includes 35 targeted actions which are absolutely feasible with an implementation deadline.”

The strategy also covers a new operational model for the Deputy Ministry.

Demetriades said the 2022 budget foresees increased spending associated with the ministry’s digital transformation, the state subsidy for the ferry connection of Cyprus with Greece, training and education scholarships for maritime professions.