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Number of shipping companies based in Cyprus surges

The growing appeal of Cyprus as a shipping hub is apparent when one looks at the numbers.

The shipping industry in and around Limassol is experiencing fast growth, and the Cyprus government plans to take further steps to boost business, Deputy Minister of Shipping, Natasa Pilides, said on 14 February.

Speaking at an event in Limassol, where she recapped developments in the year since the standalone junior Ministry for shipping was established, Pilides said more and more shipping companies are choosing Cyprus as their base of operations as the country can “offer a stable business environment and clear tax and legal frameworks”.

Since the Ministry’s creation the number of companies that are tax-resident in Cyprus has risen from 168 to 203, while many other corporations are not tax-resident but are doing business on the island. She revealed the number of companies setting up headquarters in Cyprus has nearly doubled since 2013.

Shipping accounts for around 7% of the Cypriot economy, and the Minister said 3% of the labour force, approximately 9,000 people, are currently employed in the shipping sector and the ministry is operating according to a strategic plan developed by a major consultancy firm.

Addressing shipowners, Pilides said: “We would like to assure you we are doing all we can to upgrade Cyprus as a shipping destination, facilitating entrepreneurship and encouraging current businesses to bring more and more partners to set up shop here.”

Read more: Cyprus Deputy Shipping Minister stresses quality and sophistication in growing maritime cluster

On the idea of a shipping link with Greece, Pilides said it has been given the green-light by the ministry. The terms of reference have been drafted, and soon the ministry would be assessing interested companies.

Brexit forced P&O Ferries to reflag its Channel ferry fleet to Cyprus from the UK, and Pilides said two UK-based insurers are moving to the island as the UK exits the EU.

Indeed, Michael Kyprianou & Co. LLC, one of the largest law firms in Cyprus, with international presence in nine cities worldwide has just launched Michael Kyprianou & Co LLC (London) with the goal of selling Cyprus as “an ideal EU destination”. 

Early March the firm plans a seminar with the focus on Brexit and the impact on UK citizens living in Cyprus; Global Mobility relating to Cyprus; Cyprus as a corporate destination; and Cyprus Shipping – International trade beyond barriers.

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