The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) has confirmed Greek shipowners remain the dominant force in the global industry, topping operators overall based on fleet capacity, while heading the wet and dry categories, and rising to third among containership fleets.

Renewal of the Greek fleet continues at pace as cash rich owners continue to build ships and buy ships.

The Greek government has moved to have the country’s largest shipyard Hellenic Shipyards declared bankrupt. The insolvency proceedings were filed under the country's revised bankruptcy code, which foresees the rapid sale of assets and the withdrawal of old shares.

Executives from Chinese group China Cosco Shipping have been briefed by the Greek government as it pledges to sort out the future of the country’s floundering shipbuilding and shiprepair industry.

A welcome sense of optimism on the future of shipping infused the opening day of the 15th biennial Maritime Cyprus conference taking place in Limassol this week, a line-up of heavyweight speakers, record attendance of over 850 delegates and the first of the week’s procession of evening receptions all adding to the positive vibe.

Following a relatively small oil spill off Athens 10 September, that authorities have been accused of handling poorly, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Shipping and Island Policy minister, Panagiotis Kouroumplis, have pledged a shake-up of the Hellenic Coast Guard, the way ship’s seaworthiness certificates are issued, and a review age limits.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s 13 September call for “investment screening” has raised new concerns in Athens as the country battles to meet the demands of its European creditors through the privatisation of state-owned commercial organisations.

China is a power with a strategic plan and Greece can only benefit from bilateral cooperation, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said during a press conference in Thessaloniki 9 September. The Greek leader commented on Greece’s strategic partner, expressing his admiration for the strategy of “a strong and peaceful country".

With China Development Bank (CDB) and the Greek Public Power Corporation (PPC) set to sign a cooperation agreement which could be worth many tens of million of dollars, China’s has sought to stress the economic and social benefits of investment cooperation between Chinese and Greek companies as they have been cited as a source of concern for some Western countries.

Challenges facing Greece and Piraeus, the home of Greek shipping, have become more evident at a time when global maritime clusters around the world are actively working to attract Greek shipowners.

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