Cyprus President Nikos Christodoulides with ECSA President Philippos Philis (centre) and CSC Chairman Themis Papadopoulos

Cyprus committed to path of sustainable shipping

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President Nikos Christodoulides emphasised the important contribution of shipping to the economic development of Cyprus on Tuesday, adding that his administration “will continue to work towards the sustainable development of Cypriot shipping, while ensuring the competitiveness of European shipping.”

Addressing the 35th annual general meeting of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber held at the Four Seasons in Limassol, Christodoulides also referred to the numerous and unpredictable challenges facing shipping as a global industry.

He underlined that “these challenges can only be met with a collective effort, which will facilitate international solutions”.

Highlighting the progress made in shipping, Christodoulides said that Cyprus has developed into an integrated maritime centre, which combines a prestigious registry with high safety standards and a domestic shipping sector known for its excellent quality services.

He also noted that during the past year, the Deputy Ministry of Shipping spearheaded many strategic initiatives and innovative actions.

These included the 14% increase in the number of companies registered in the Cyprus Tonnage Tax System, reaching 420 registrations, the granting of state land for the construction of the junior ministry’s new head offices, and the re-election of Cyprus to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council, further proof of the strong voice of Cyprus in international maritime forums.

He said the full digitisation of the services provided by the deputy ministry is expected to be completed at the end of this year.

Women in shipping

The President also made reference to the increased participation of women in shipping, saying that the government attaches great importance to this and is an active supporter of gender equality, diversity and inclusion.

“Among the many actions we implement to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women is the establishment of the “Gender Equality Award in Cyprus Shipping”, he said and congratulated Despina Theodosiou, who was awarded the IMO Gender Equality Award, that coincided with the IMO International Day for Women in Maritime on May 18.

Christodoulides praised the chamber’s professionalism, dedication and expertise that have been instrumental in guiding collective efforts towards the continued development of the shipping sector in Cyprus.

“Together we have overcome challenges, seized opportunities and made remarkable achievements. Together we placed Cyprus in the foreground of the global maritime industry”, he noted.

In her remarks, House President Annita Demetriou emphasised the fact that the shipping sector, despite the challenges it faces, is a strong and stable pillar of the Cyprus economy.

She also pledged, on behalf of all members of the House of Representatives, their commitment in continuing the close cooperation with the CSC aimed at further improving Cyprus maritime industry.

CSC President Themis Papadopoulos referred to the Chamber’s milestones since its establishment, as well as to the highlights and challenges of the past year including the shipping sector’s green transition, taxation issues and geopolitical pressures exerted both on shipping as well as on the global supply chain.

Lastly, the CSC paid special tribute to its immediate past President, Philippos Philis, for his successful term as President of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations, a position held by a Cypriot for the first time.