A holistic approach and turning challenges into opportunities is the right way forward for the future of our shipping industry, said Shipping Deputy Minister Marina Hadjimanoli, noting that the new government has an ambitious vision and clear objectives for Cypriot shipping.
Hadjimanoli welcomed on Tuesday Capital Link’s 6th annual Cyprus Maritime Forum in Limassol, noting that the highest priority of the Deputy Ministry is to provide top quality public services to the country's shipping industry.
Cyprus, she continued, has made significant progress to simplify all procedures, reduce bureaucracy and create a paperless maritime administration, in an effort not only to improve its environmental footprint, but mainly to provide a more flexible, efficient, effective and customer-oriented service that will further increase the attractiveness of the Cyprus Registry and its relevant services.
In this direction, she added, the Deputy Ministry is creating a one-stop shipping centre framework through its digital transformation, which will maximize its operational efficiency.
"Moreover, the implementation of the Shipping Limited Liability Company Law enacted in October 2022 will improve the competitiveness of the Cyprus flag in international shipping as well as simplify the procedures and operating regime of Cypriot shipping companies owning Cypriot ships," she added.
Indicating that the actions of the Deputy Ministry are not limited to the development of the ship registry, the Deputy Minister said that they extend to the further development of the shipping cluster and that "all our efforts are aimed at strengthening our role in the international shipping arena and providing fruitful conditions for the sustainable growth of our shipping industry."
Hadjimanoli said that one of the main current challenges is the transition to a green and digital shipping industry and assured that "Cyprus supports the shipping industry to achieve its decarbonisation goals by providing green tax incentives to shipowners and operators, encouraging and supporting ships of the Cypriot registry to use alternative fuels such as biofuels and hydrogen."
"This, along with a unique set of competitive advantages, has allowed Cyprus to grow and develop into a world-class maritime centre," she added.
At the same time, the Deputy Minister underlined that despite the illegal Turkish embargo against Cyprus shipping, the Cypriot registry has evolved significantly, with a strong voice and a great displacement in the international shipping scene, playing a significant role in decision-making processes whilst contributing effectively to global and European maritime policies.
"The stable economic and business-friendly environment, as well as the richness of know-how offered by Cypriot shipping, have attracted a significant number of shipping companies to Cyprus," said Hadjimanoli, indicating that over the last decade there has been a remarkable increase in the number of companies registered under the tonnage tax system, from 95 to 320 at present.
She also recalled that Cyprus has a large resident shipping industry with over 200 shipping companies based in Cyprus, covering the whole range of shipping activities, from ship ownership and ship management to telecommunications, IT, insurance, insurance, finance, bunkering, spare parts provision, ship repairs and maintenance, etc.
Stressing that a maritime nation like Cyprus must have a clear strategy for the future development of the shipping sector to ensure that it holds a leading role in the development of the global and European maritime agenda, Hajimanoli said that "Cypriot shipping has to be competitive, strong, resilient to crisis and proactive to challenges and new trends."
"We have an ambitious vision and clear objectives for Cyprus shipping and we are determined to turn this vision into sustainable actions in order to navigate positive change for Cyprus and global shipping," she noted.
She concluded by expressing her confidence that a holistic approach and turning challenges into opportunities is the right way forward and assured that the Deputy Ministry will do its utmost to support and enhance the efforts, endeavours and objectives of the shipping industry.