Cyprus is in a privileged position on the world shipping map, President Nicos Anastasiades said at the Maritime Conference in Limassol.
“We feel very proud of our achievements which have placed our small country in a privileged position on the world’s shipping map,” he said.
“We have established a competitive and modern international shipping centre, ranked highly globally regarding ship registries and third-party ship management”.
He said around 300 shipping companies are based in Cyprus, covering the full range of shipping–related activities.
“In the past decade, we have witnessed a three-fold increase in the number of companies registered under our tonnage tax system, from 95 to 285.”
The President said that despite its impressive achievements, Cyprus Shipping would have held an even higher international ranking if the illegal restrictive measures imposed by Turkey since 1987 were abolished.
He argued the restrictive measures adversely affect Cyprus’ interests and those of the European Union since they prevent the application of fundamental rights and free competition in maritime trade with the bloc.
The government launched last year a new long-term strategy for shipping.
It was for Cyprus to advance its role in the international shipping environment, enhance its attractiveness as a maritime centre of sustainable growth and excellence, strengthen safety and security levels on Cypriot-flagged ships, and reward Green investments.
“We are in the process of establishing a one-stop-shipping centre framework through the legal framework of the Maritime Entity and the digital transformation of the Shipping Deputy Ministry, which will optimise the business processes and operational efficiency.
“We established an autonomous Admiralty Court while finalising the legal and procedural framework for arbitration and mediation on maritime disputes.
“We are providing green tax incentives to shipowners and operators, encouraging and supporting ships registered under the Cyprus registry to use alternative fuels, and offering funding tools and programs to encourage research and innovation”.
Referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he said that “being also victims of the Turkish invasion, we immediately and without hesitation agreed to the adoption of targeted sanctions vis-à-vis Russia to reverse its actions and return to dialogue.”
On targeted sanctions, Anastasiades said their impact should not become greater on EU member-states than on Russia.
“And these principles should be applied in all adopted sanctions, including, of course, European shipping, which has a decisive role to play in the connection and seamless trade supply.
“That is why we remain firm in our position that maintaining to the maximum extent possible the competitiveness of European shipping flags remains of utmost importance.”
Anastasiades assured Cyprus would continue its positive contribution to the EU legislative framework to ensure that shipping is safe, environmentally sustainable, competitive, and integral to achieving energy independence and a carbon-neutral economy.