Cyprus Government to intensify efforts to lift Turkish embargo on shipping, says President

President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades said Thursday that efforts of the government to remove the illegal restrictions imposed by Turkey on Cyprus flag ships, would be intensifying, pointing out that the Turkish embargo was a clear violation of international law.

President Anastasiades was addressing the 30th Annual General Meeting of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, held in Limassol, in the presence of the President of the House, the President of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the Vice President of the Union of European Shipowners.

The President said that Cyprus is proud of its shipping industry that has played a decisive role in the steady recovery of the economy, acting not only as a gateway for foreign investment but also as an export destination of ship management services.

Cyprus, he said, is one of the most modern and quality international shipping centers, having the eleventh largest fleet in the world and the third in Europe, strategically located, with excellent infrastructure, maritime specialization, but above all the determination to do all organizational, structural and tax reforms needed for a promising future.

Referring to the Governments actions to support the shipping industry, he pointed out the creation of a Deputy Ministry for Shipping, the new strategy to promote issues of the industry and the strengthening of the tax framework for commercial shipping.

He reiterated that the government would continue to examine ways to adopt more tax and other incentives within the European framework so that Cyprus remains competitive as a shipping center.

He referred to the latest data from the Central Bank of Cyprus, according to which revenues from shipping companies in 2018 amounted to 1 billion 34 million euros, compared to 948 million in 2017, recording an increase of 9%, while the contribution of the shipping industry was 7% of GDP.

He added that in 2018, 69 new ships have been registered in the Cyprus Registry, while the number of multinational corporations transferring their base to the island was increasing.

The President of the Republic also highlighted the prospects from the discovery of major hydrocarbon deposits in the region, while noting the steady development of the Cyprus Shipping industry despite Turkey’s illegal embargo for the use of Turkish ports by the Cyprus flag ships.

“Our efforts to remove these anachronistic and illegal restrictions will be further intensified as they are a clear violation of international law,” he added.

Meanwhile, in his speech, President of the House of Representatives Demetris Syllouris, praised the achievements of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, saying also that the House is mindful of the challenges that Cyprus and Global Shipping Industry was facing.

In this respect, we shall continue to work in synergy to actively support the shipping sector in its mission, which will help create, through reforms, an even more attractive legal and business framework that will enhance the competitiveness of our maritime cluster, he said.

He also said he was sure that through targeted and coordinated steps and the commitment of all involved, the Cyprus Shipping Chamber would continue to excel and flourish towards the benefit of Cyprus’ maritime industry and its economy and society as a whole.

Source: Cyprus News Agency