Despite the economic crisis, prospects for Cyprus shipping are favourable thanks to an anticipated increase in the international freight markets and the potential being opened up by the energy sector, said Cyprus Shipping Chamber (CSC) director general Thomas Kazakos.
Speaking at a news conference marking the CSC 25th anniversary, Kazakos said the future of the Cyprus maritime sector was positive provided a number of problems are resolved.
“Cyprus shipping has a strong present and future but there is a need for more action from the state,” Kazakos told The Cyprus Daily.
He stressed the need to appoint a permanent director at the Department of Merchant Shipping -- which has been vacant since the retirement of Serghios Serghiou 18 months ago -- and the need to upgrade the Cyprus maritime administration through the creation of a shipping undersecretary as was publically announced by the government.
There is also a need to promote the Cyprus shipping industry abroad on the basis of a plan. The industry also wants the government to continue and intensify efforts to resolve the Turkish ban on Cyprus flag ships.
In cooperation of the government, the CSC ensured the reputation of the Cyprus shipping industry remained intact after the Eurogroup decision of last March, with shipping companies remaining on the island despite the haircut on their deposits.
“Cyprus shipping continues to be one of the few remaining profit-making and productive sectors of the economy and its worldwide image has not been affected,” Kazakos said.
“The energy and natural gas prospects of Cyprus are also a positive element for Cyprus shipping and if the promising energy sector produces what is expected, Cyprus shipping will have a direct involvement in issues related to the transportation of oil and natural gas,” he added.
In his view, there are further opportunities for development for the Cyprus shipping industry.
Shipping companies and firms offering services for drilling and the preparation of the oil terminal and other activities that will be created have already been established and some of them are members of the CSC.
Read the full story in The Cyprus Daily.