articles | 28 December 2023

Cyprus shipping industry to further develop in 2024, minister says

Deputy Minister of Shipping Marina Hadjimanoli on Wednesday said that Cyprus’ role as a prominent, internationally recognised maritime centre will be further enhanced in the coming year. 

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, Hadjimanoli said that the competitiveness of the Cypriot shipping registry continues to be bolstered, with qualitative fleet upgrades, and service improvements, which to sustain the fleet while attracting new vessels. She explained that the overall objective is to improve Cyprus’ global and European maritime ranking, further augmenting the shipping industry’s contribution to the local economy.

Addressing the distinctive challenges of international shipping, she highlighted the unpredictability and complexities faced by the sector, referencing sanctions against Russia due to the war in Ukraine, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and recent attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen against vessels in the Red Sea region. “Despite these challenges, Cyprus’ maritime foundations are robust, proving its capability to effectively respond to these issues,” she noted. Hadjimanoli further stressed that the ministry’s targeted action plan aimed at reinforcing Cypriot shipping has already been prepared, while she expressed satisfaction with the efforts already made and the tangible outcomes that have been realised. Continuing to emphasise the ministry’s goals, she underlined the continual development of shipping and the enhancement of the services provided.

The newly established One Stop Shipping Centre, launched on November 20, aims to provide quality services to shipping companies aligning their activities with Cyprus and residing within the country, particularly in terms of how these relate to the Civil Registry and Migration Department. Another significant achievement highlighted by Hadjimanoli was Cyprus’ re-election to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council. She noted that the renewed representation in the IMO Council following the voting during the 33rd regular assembly in London on December 1 holds substantial importance. It allows participation in strategic decision-making processes that shape the future of the organisation and global maritime policies, strengthening Cyprus’ image as an international maritime force.

Furthermore, she highlighted the approval of the National Marine Spatial Plan by the Ministerial Council on December 20. The plan delineates spatiotemporal distribution for current and future maritime activities and uses in the Republic of Cyprus’ waters. It aims to support and promote sustainable development at sea while considering economic, social, environmental, and cultural aspects. Hadjimanoli concluded by expressing optimism about achieving Cyprus’ objectives in bolstering its role as a significant and internationally recognised maritime player despite any challenges. She explained that the ministry’s initiatives, including the full digitisation of its services by 2024, reflect the efforts being made to boost Cyprus’ stature in global maritime affairs.

Source: Cyprus Mail

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