Shipping is a valuable asset for Cyprus, generating an annual revenue that corresponds to 7% of total GDP, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades said on Tuesday. He also noted that 3% of the total workforce works in the broader shipping industry, while the Cypriot fleet is one of the largest in the world.
The President’s address was read by Shipping Deputy Minister Natasa Pilides during the annual meeting of the Cyprus Shipping Association, underlining government support to efforts for the development of Cyprus shipping.
There are more than 250 maritime and other relevant companies that have their seat or offices in Cyprus, the President said. He added that when it comes to ship management, the country is one of the largest centers in Europe and one of the five largest in the world.
“There are more than 55,000 seafarers working in Cyprus-flagged ships.”
There are more than 55,000 seafarers working in Cyprus-flagged ships while the companies with a seat in Cyprus employ approximately 9,000 top professionals, many of whom are Cypriots, he added.
The President also said that since the establishment of the Shipping Deputy Ministry, the effort to develop the sector and improve its competitiveness is a top priority, and added that a number of the measures adopted begin to bear fruit.
President Anastasiades congratulated Cyprus Shipping Agents and the private sector in general for their valuable contribution in the country’s efforts to further develop shipping, the port industry and seafaring.
He also stressed that cooperation between all public and private entities is necessary in order to implement the national strategy and highlight the country’s competitive advantages.
“The establishment of the Shipping Deputy Ministry, the effort to develop the sector and improve its competitiveness is a top priority.”
In his address, the Minister of Transport Yiannis Karousos said that an efficient transport system is a significant factor for economic development and for the welfare of states.
Maritime transport and ports are the most significant and environmentally-friendly network to transport goods, as 90% of international trade is being conducted through the sea, he noted.
Karousos also said that Cyprus plays a significant role in the global maritime industry. Listing the country’s advantages, he said that Cyprus possesses large hydrocarbon reserves in the broader Eastern Mediterranean. This area, including our country’s exclusive economic zone have attracted the interest of the oil industry, he said, pointing to the support services required for drilling activities from the country’s ports.
The Ministry of Transport, in cooperation wit the Ministry of Energy and other competent authorities are cooperating closely in order to fully exploit hydrocarbon reserves discovered in Cyprus’ EEZ, Karousos said.
The Minister also referred to the privatization of the Limassol port, noting that the results so far are deemed very satisfactory. “I don’t claim that there are no problems, or that they will cease to exist. Our concern at the Ministry is to monitor problems and prevent or resolve them the to the degree this is possible and legally feasible”, the Minister said.
Referring to the privatization of Larnaca port, Karousos said that due to the project’s importance, the Ministry opted for concluding a concession agreement with the only preselected financial entity that also participated in the last procedure, in line with the relevant legislation. He added that the new industrial port at Vassiliko will be built with the DBFOT method (Design, Build, Finance, Operate, Transfer).