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Shipping industry a catalyst for economic growth: Cyprus President

Shipping industry a catalyst for economic growth: Cyprus President
The shipping sector is the only business in Cyprus whose size goes far beyond the size of Cyprus as a country and is acknowledged as a catalyst towards the steady recovery of the Cyprus economy, the country's President, Nicos Anastasiades, told the opening session of the Maritime Cyprus 2015 event in Limassol, 14 – 15 September.

"Shipping and its sustainable growth is thus one of the main concerns and priorities of the Cyprus government," said the President. He declared there is "a need to focus on the future of the Cyprus shipping sector in order to safeguard its steady and substantial growth". He declared: "Our economy will return to one of growth and shipping will play a leading role"

Anastasiades announced a study on the future of Cyprus shipping, commissioned by the Minister of Transport Communications and Works, Marios Demetriades, and completed in July, sets new targeted goals and actions aiming at rendering the Department of Merchant Shipping more responsive to the challenges that our evolving shipping industry faces. "Restructuring and upgrading of the Department of Merchant Shipping will be reviewed in close cooperation with the private sector," he said.

With the launch of the new maritime strategy, Anastasiades believes shipping will "contribute significantly", to the economy.

Transport, Communications, and Works Minister Marios Demetriades told the 700 delegates that the role of shipping is invaluable to Cyprus “a good place to do business and the shipping industry is a vital catalyst for economic growth”.

The Minister said the impact of the financial crisis on Cyprus' shipping industry is “manageable” and the overall shipping infrastructure remains intact. “The wealth of knowledge and expertise in our industry will navigate the industry to calm waters,” said Demetriades.

Demetriades said the current privatisation of Limassol port will help the regrowth of the maritime cluster and that Cyprus is already seeing increased interest in the East Mediterranean offshore market.

"Now, more than ever, Cyprus needs a flexible, modern, and even more efficient maritime administration to deal with the rapid changes in shipping. We need to become more aggressive in the way we pursue business and upgrade our maritime administration. This is one of our main goals and we have already started working towards that."