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Natasa Pilides : 'Maritime Cyprus 2019' Conference participation hits record high

Natasa Pilides : 'Maritime Cyprus 2019' Conference participation hits record high

The participation in "Maritime Cyprus 2019" Conference being held in Limassol has exceeded every other precedent with the number of participants reaching more than 1000 shipping executives from around the globe the Shipping Deputy Minister to the President Natasa Pilides has said, according to the Cyprus News Agency.

Speaking to the press on the sidelines of the conference, Natasa Pilides said that the messages received for Cyprus shipping are positive adding that companies express interest in expanding and relocating their activities to our island.

Pilides said that the participation in the conference exceeded every precedent with more than 1000 shipping executives from around the globe including the IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim

She said that the fact that the Conference celebrates 30 years since it was first held in 1989 and the fact that the Shipping Deputy Ministry has organised the event for the first time have yielded positive results.

Pilides further pointed out that the continued increase in the number of participants in the Conference proves that Cyprus not only is recognized internationally as a shipping center of great importance and value but also that Cyprus participates in the decision-making and formulation of international maritime policies.

She added that many issues will be discussed during the conference with regard to climate change, ship security and various geopolitical developments.

On the interest of foreign companies to come to the island in view of Brexit, Pilides said that she had yesterday and will continue meetings with executives from foreign companies who have expressed their intention relocate their activities in Cyprus.

The European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc in her prerecorded video message at the conference said, inter alia, that “Cyprus commands global respect for its shipping fleet and longstanding quality maritime cluster”.

“I know how important the sector is for the Cypriot economy and I welcome the political attention that the maritime sector receives in Cyprus. I hope you have recognized also our efforts to make sure maritime stays in focus also at the EU level”, she noted. 

 “Over five years, we have shared an incredible journey. We have worked hard to make maritime transport safer, cleaner and more connected and digitalised. But what is even more important is that we did it together and this is what counts the most”, the EU Commissioner said. 

As she noted, eight concrete legislative acts concluded in five years (passenger ship safety, port reception facility, European Maritime Single Window) and have set the maritime sector on course towards a cleaner and greener future.

Director General of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber Thomas Kazakos in his statements to CNA on the sildelines of the conference said that Maritime Cyprus Conference reflects the evolution of Cypriot shipping which enjoys the recognition it deserves as one of the largest maritime players both at European and international level.

He said that the conference attracts high-level speakers, such as the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, representatives of the International and European shipping industry as well as the Presidents of the International and European Maritime Chambers.

He also expressed the hope that Brexit will not negatively affect Cypriot shipping, but instead, it will create yet another opportunity to attract more shipping companies to Cyprus.

Kitack Lim, Secretary General of the IMO participated in the first panel discussion on “Regulatory measures: a product of necessity or pressure?”.

According to a press release, the panel stressed the importance of collaboration and cooperation throughout the shipping industry, and adoption of technology to increase connectivity and productivity. It was suggested that decarbonisation is driving the industry’s 4th propulsion revolution and was urged to act now, or be at the mercy of forces that it may not be able to control. Attendees were reminded that the emissions impact of shipping has put pressure on both regulators and the industry to act. There was universal agreement that regional regulations should be avoided to ensure the industry maintains global rules for a global industry.

Natasa Pilides, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister to the President discussed change and opportunity within the industry with K D Adamson, Futurist & CEO, Futurenautics Group, highlighting the potential of blue growth, the importance of diversity and inclusion, and the prospects for digitalisation. They both agreed on the importance of blue growth, and using the current visibility of the shipping industry in the public sphere to create positive momentum for change, highlighting the efforts made to become a safer, greener, smarter, and more inclusive industry.

The second panel discussion explored “Shipowners: The new landscape”. The discussion focused on four main topics; emissions, the importance of shipping to Europe, freight markets and trade wars, and public shipping companies. While some panelists were vehement in their support for reducing speed to achieve emissions reductions immediately, others suggested that we should learn from the technology adopted in other industries and believed that shipping`s future will see a combination of emissions reductions initiatives to achieve its goals.

The day’s third and final panel considered “Are there brighter days ahead for Shipping?”. It was suggested that shipping is in a game-changing era of transformation, with key drivers being decarbonisation and digitalisation. Panelists underlined shipowners’ widespread commitment to improving the industry’s impact on the environment and suggested that the perception of shipowners can often be unjust. The importance of people and attracting talent was also emphasised, with acknowledgement that the younger generation wants to see a clear direction for the application of environmental measures, otherwise they will pursue careers in other industries.

The first day of 2019’s Maritime Cyprus conference was preceded by an Opening Reception held yesterday in Limassol where the “Cyprus Maritime Award 2019” was presented in recognition of the contribution of individuals or companies to the development of Cyprus Shipping. The “Cyprus Maritime Award 2019” was won by Safe Bulkers Inc.

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