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Natasa Pilides, promoted to Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry

Cyprus appoints new Deputy Shipping Minister

European Union maritime policy expert Vassilios Demetriades, has become Cyprus' new cabinet member in charge of shipping, after a government reshuffle.

He replaces Deputy Minister for Shipping, Natasa Pilides, who has been promoted to Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry after a successful two years in the shipping role.

Demetriades, 48, has been working for the past five years as a maritime policy officer at the European Commission. Part of his brief was to coordinate the mid-term review of the EU's maritime transport strategy.

Between 2009 and 2013, he was head of the EU affairs unit at Cyprus' ministry of Communications and Works, which was in charge of shipping before the stand alone ministry was established two years ago under Pilides.

Cyprus, one of the world's biggest shipmanagement hubs, established the shipping ministry to highlight shipping's rising contribution to the economy of the island nation.

Since her appointment Pilides has reorganised the island’s tax regime and played a key role in repatriating its seafarers during the coronavirus lockdown. President Nicos Anastasiades has appointed Pilides to follow on from Giorgos Lakkotrypis who has stepped down from the Energy, Trade and Industry ministry after more than seven years in office.

In Cyprus the shipping portfolio has the rank of a deputy ministry for technical, constitutional reasons. It is for all intents and purposes a stand-alone part of government.  

Pilides has won high praise for her enthusiasm and business nous, after embarking on a mission to sell the island as a hub for global shipping. In December, she succeeded in having the EU extend Cyprus' tonnage tax regime for 10 more years.

 

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