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ICS Chairman: lifting Turkey’s embargo on Cyprus’ ships would be very positive

Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Esben Poulsson

Lifting Turkey’s embargo on Cyprus-flagged vessels would have a very positive effect on shipping both for business but also politically, the Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Esben Poulsson, has said.

“I believe it would have a very positive effect on shipping. Trade would increase. It is a long-standing problem and I would think from every point of view, pragmatic, political, business, it would be positive. I hope this happens for Cyprus. I think if south and north Vietnam became one country I don`t see why not Cyprus”, said Poulsson replying to a CNA question during his one-day visit to the island, as part of a tour of countries members of the Chamber.

Poulsson addressed a meeting in Limassol organised by the Cyprus Shipping Chamber for its members, where he praised the contribution of Cyprus to international maritime affairs.

At the same time he praised the relation between the public and the private sector in the shipping industry of Cyprus, saying that cooperation and communication in Cyprus was better than in most ICS member countries.

“Here it reminds me a little bit of Singapore because we enjoy a very co-essential working relationship with our authorities. My impression of Cyprus is that here it maybe be a little more political than we are in Singapore, but nonetheless I think the government here is quite pro-business and quite pro-shipping at it should be, because shipping is 7.5 per cent of GDP, which is a lot” he said.

Referring to his meeting with the Minister of Transport Marios Demetriades, he said that everybody agrees that there should not be different regulations in one area in the EU or US and that the same rules should apply for everybody.

“And the only way this will work is if the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) implements regulations that we can live with and that are enforced and we all have to live by the same rules. It`s the same like playing football, there is no different rule of the game when you play in China or Germany. There is one rule, period and that should apply to shipping”, he said.

Poulsson left Cyprus for Greece, the last stop of his tour to member countries of the Chamber, after his election in June as Chairman.

Turkey does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus, in spite of repeated calls from the EU and the UN to do so. Ankara imposed unilaterally an embargo on Cypriot flagged vessels and aircraft, which cannot use either its ports or air space.

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