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Rebranding and restructuring Cyprus shipping

Rebranding and restructuring Cyprus shipping
Shipping is one of the few industries which continues today to significantly support the economy of Cyprus without any investment on the part of the state and could contribute much more provided certain measures advocated by the Cyprus Shipping Chamber (CSC), and supported by the island's Department of Merchant Shipping, are adopted.

"We can say with confidence, shipping will have a central part to play if Cyprus is to achieve sustainable development. Not only is shipping cost-effective, it is also safe, secure and environmentally sound. It provides reliable mass transportation for energy, materials, foods and industrial products, all over the world. So, to me, it seems inevitable that shipping must be at the heart of sustainable development in Cyprus but also in the entire EU," declared Shipping Chamber president, Eugen Adami.

Addressing the CSC's recent agm, Adami continued: "For such a concept to materialise, we need to modernise our maritime administration and enhance its cooperation with other professional organisations, institutions and entities in order to embrace new technologies and new operational practices. It is clear that, for sustainable maritime development to flourish, there will be distinct roles for the government, for the shipping industry and for all those involved in the Cyprus maritime cluster as a whole, all acting in a concerted partnership.

Our maritime cluster, with one of the largest third-party shipmanagement centres in the world, employs around 4,500 in Cyprus and more than 75,000 seafarers, of which many are Europeans," said Adami.

Adami said the Turkish embargo on Cyprus ships continues to hurt the industry and Cyprus and went so far as to say "if the embargo will continue to exist one has to think how the EU can compensate Cyprus for the daily operational losses we have to realise in comparison to our European competitors. We understanding such discrimination is prohibited under the EU constitution".

With the country's president Nicos Anastasiades, shipping minister Marios Demetriades, and MPs from the island and abroad in the audience, Adami said the time has come for Cyprus to set and market a clear 'National Shipping Policy'. "Now, more than ever, Cyprus requires a modern maritime administration to deal with modern shipping and with the new offshore sector in view of Cyprus' future maritime transports of our hydrocarbons," said Adami.

Anastasiades referred to a 'Study for the Future of Cyprus Shipping" which was initiated by the ministry of Transport, and stated, that, based on its findings, “the prospects for further development of Cyprus shipping is both tangible and viable”.

Communications, Works and Transport minister Marios Demetriades, agreed with the CSC president that Cyprus shipping is in need of rebranding and restructuring to enhance its competitiveness.

Demetriades said "we need to become more aggressive in promoting our flag and intensify efforts to attract additional companies to the island" and that a package of incentives was being prepared that "could be offered to maritime companies to relocate to Cyprus”.

He said Cyprus had become “a fully-fledged, well-known and respected maritime centre, combining both a sovereign flag and a resident shipping industry, which is prominent for its high quality services and standards of safety”.

He said “we are planning to implement a number of operational changes in the next few months”. “These include the offering of incentives to the private sector for business development, the strengthening of offices abroad, the intensification of promotion events and other operational changes, including the upgrading of our software programmes and 24-hour service for our clients”.