The island is considered the largest ship management centre in Europe and one of the biggest in the world, President Nikos Christodoulides told the Maritime Cyprus 2023 Conference in Limassol.
In his opening address, the President said that his presence underlines the importance the government attaches to shipping and the blue economy as a main driver of economic growth.
“Shipping is one of the most important pillars of the Cyprus economy and has contributed significantly to the country’s GDP throughout the years”.
Cyprus’ Ship Registry has developed over the last 60 years, ranking 11 worldwide and third in the EU.
Christodoulides said: “Cyprus is not just a leading Ship Registry but also a major maritime cluster with more than 250 shipping companies based or having offices in Cyprus, offering a wide spectrum of shipping-related activities such as ship management, chartering, marine insurance”.
He said the recent upgrade of the economy and the return to investment grade by Moody’s after 12 years heralds growth for the shipping sector.
“Since 1987, Cyprus has been elected to the Council of the International Maritime Organisation with a strong voice and significant involvement in the decision-making process.
“I am pleased that the Secretary General of the IMO has once again honoured us with his presence, continuing the tradition since the first Maritime Conference held in 1989.”
The President wrote to the UN Secretary-General to underline the importance of Cyprus, as one of the biggest flag States, to provide services for the transportation of foodstuffs and fertilisers in the Black Sea Grain Initiative if the Initiative resumes.
“It is not acceptable that Cyprus-flagged or Cyprus-connected ships have effectively been prohibited by Turkey from participating in the Initiative”.
He also recently sent a letter to the President of the European Commission, underlining the importance of enhancing EU shipping and the need to address the fragmentation of competencies between the various Commission services dealing with shipping.
Cyprus introduced measures to support the shipping industry to achieve its decarbonisation goals by providing tonnage tax reductions of up to 30% to owners of Cyprus and EU ships that use mechanisms-equipment for the environmental preservation of the marine environment and the reduction of the effects of climate change.
“Maritime transport should be given due attention and a prominent position, especially within the EU.
“It is, therefore, imperative to adopt a holistic approach and create a long-term, stable and predictable environment where the maritime transport industry can formulate its strategic planning.
The one-stop-shipping centre will commence its operations on the premises of the Shipping Deputy Ministry in Limassol at the beginning of November.