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Cyprus at the centre of international shipping

CYPRUS will be at the centre of international shipping from October 6-9, during the Maritime Cyprus Conference 2013 in Limassol.

Titled ‘Shipping Today’, the conference will discuss the world shipping industry’s hot issues in three distinct parts: remodelling the shipping, environment; looking ahead to the future. The conference will be attended by approximately 700 participants including the International Maritime Organisation’s Secretary General Koji Sekimizu, European officials and prominent ship-owners from all over the world.

“We are confident the organisation of the Maritime Cyprus Conference 2013 will give further impetus to the Cypriot shipping and will promote our country internationally,” Communications and Works Permanent Secretary Alecos Michaelides told a news conference yesterday.

Maritime Cyprus takes place every two years.

Michaelides said that Cyprus now has the 10th largest merchant fleet internationally and the third in the European Union, and was one of the biggest shipmanagement centres internationally.

Shipping contributes 6 per cent to GDP every year, Michaelides said. “In these difficult times shipping could play a leading role in the efforts to achieve growth and the attraction of foreign investments to our island,” he said.

The opening ceremony will take place on October 6 during a reception hosted by President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential palace. Anastasiades will also address the conference the next day.

Michaelides said the shipping sector had overcome the initial shock of the bailout.

“There were consequences and difficulties, which have been overcome following actions of the ministry, the department of merchant shipping and all stake holders,” Michaelides said.

He also said that despite the 1987 Turkish ban on Greek Cypriot air and sea traffic, Michaelides said the ministry was trying to promote the Cypriot flag, “at least for ships which don’t dock in Turkish ports.”

In May 1997, Turkey issued new instructions to its ports extending prohibitions against ships under a foreign flag (of any nationality) sailing to Turkish ports directly from any Cypriot port under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus or against ships of any nationality related to the Republic of Cyprus in terms of ownership or shipmanagement.

Also yesterday a meeting was held on Cyprus’ Integrated Maritime Policy, involving seven government ministries. The ministers decided on the final and unified text for Cyprus’ national strategy for the Integrated Maritime Policy, which will be submitted to the Cabinet to become the Republic’s official document.

The Integrated Maritime Policy is a top EU priority, seeking to provide a more coherent approach to maritime issues, with increased coordination between different policy areas. The EU seeks to achieve sustainable and viable management of the sea, which would offer great economic opportunities.

The meeting was attended by ministers of transport, foreign affairs, interior, defence, justice, energy, and agriculture.

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