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Ship financing boosting maritime sector, says deputy minister

Natasa Pilides

Ship financing is further developing Cyprus’ already strong maritime sector, Deputy Minister of Shipping Natasa Pilides said on Wednesday.

The opportunities are boosted by the new opportunities following the privatisation of the Limassol port and the discovery of hydrocarbons, she said.

Addressing the Marine Money Cyprus Forum that took place in Limassol, Pilides said that offshore exploration and production of gas and oil, as well as their transportation ashore, require the operation of specialised ships and equipment and the supply of specialised supporting services.

“With direct and easy access to the various shipping markets situated along the coasts of the Levant, the North Adriatic and Black Sea as well as access to other main-line deep sea trades across the Mediterranean, Cyprus is set to strengthen its position as a key regional transport hub and soon, we hope, an energy centre in the eastern Mediterranean region,” she said.

“High quality and expertise in specialised services are values which matter to us more than anything else. As part of the public sector, we aim to follow private sector standards in the provision of services, both in terms of speed and in terms of quality. That’s why we offer 24-hour, personalised services, 365 days a year.”

She said there had been a significant increase in the number of shipping companies maintaining offices in Cyprus, many of them offering new maritime services and activities in recent years.

The additions include three marine academies, new ship insurance companies and the entrance of Cypriot banks to the ship finance market.

Demetra Kalogerou, the Ccairwoman of CySEC (Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) said that in the recent years the supervisory remit has widened substantially to include new groups of supervised firms and products, including collective investment schemes, fund managers and administrative service providers.

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