Cyprus a major player in the maritime world, IMO chief says

Cyprus may be a small country but it is a major player in the maritime world, Kitack Lim, the International Organisation Secretary-General told the Cyprus Shipping Chamber (CSC) Annual General Meeting in Limassol.

Cyprus is home to the world’s 11th largest fleet and an important supplier of many services to the international maritime industry, Lim said addressing the CSC 29th AGM, adding that as such, Cyprus’ engagement in the maritime issues and specifically with the work of IMO is of global importance.

Lim turned to the IMO’s Environmental Protection Committee’s adoption of the initial strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping, noting that this decision has been acclaimed as a development of historic global significance.

For the first time, he stated, there is a clear policy commitment to a complete phase out of CHG emissions from ships, a specific linkage to the Paris Agreement and a series of clear levels of ambition including at least a 5o per cent cut in emissions from the sector by 2050.

Concluding, Lim said that we at IMO must do our part to ensure that the planet gas sustainable future.

On his part, President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades praised the contribution of shipping in the Cypriot economy, stressing that the government will explore further tax incentives to sustain Cyprus as a shipping centre.

Today, Cyprus constitutes an international shipping actor and one of the most modern, qualitative and complete shipping clusters, he said, adding that the establishment of a Shipping Deputy Ministry which was embraced by the whole political spectrum, illustrated once again that Shipping is a sector for which the Government, the political parties and the private stakeholders share common ideas, objectives and vision.

Furthermore, Anastasiades pledged that the Government will continue examining ways of introducing further tax and other incentives, within the framework of the European Union regulations, in order to ensure that Cyprus remains competitive as a shipping centre.

Moreover Anastasiades said the efforts towards the lifting of the illegal restrictive measures imposed by Turkey on Cyprus ships calling Turkish ports will continue and be further intensified, emphasizing at the same time that our irrevocable objective remains to be the full settlement of the Cyprus political problem, a development which will definitely create new prospects for the further development of Cyprus shipping, and the economy in general.

The CSC President, Themis Papadopoulos said following the international financial crisis and the subsequent turmoil in global shipping, 2017 has led to a more balanced supply and demand, providing the grounds for cautious optimism in the near term.

Papadopoulos said that despite the challenging environment, Cyprus has managed not only to maintain both the resident industry and the Cyprus registry in good shape, but to record significant increases, as in the last five years there has been an increase of 65% of shipping companies registered under Cyprus tonnage tax system while revenue from shipping has increased by over 26%.

Our stable and EU approved taxation system, efficient operational infrastructure and continued steady performance of the Cyprus flag has led to numerous companies either relocating entirely to Cyprus or setting up branch offices here.

Welcoming the establishment of the Deputy Ministry for Shipping, Papadopoulos said with the right upgrading to the services and support offered to the by the Ministry to resident companies and Cyprus flag users this will allow us to see further growth.

Source: Cyprus News Agency