“For those involved in the shipping industry, World Maritime Day is an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and opportunities with which we are all faced, and to motivate ourselves and those around us to continue working towards materialising the enormous prospects that blue growth can offer,” she added.
The Shipping Deputy Ministry, she said, is committed to a blue growth strategy to support sustainable growth in the marine and maritime sectors as a whole. To achieve this, a Cyprus Integrated Maritime Policy is being developed while multiple research and innovation programmes are being supported, especially those with a focus on technology.
“Something we are particularly excited about is the creation of a new Centre of Excellence for marine and maritime innovation here in Cyprus, which has secured €40m of funding from the Cyprus Government, the EU and the private sector,” Pilides said. An increasing number of marine technology and innovation companies in Cyprus have already expressed an interest in participating in the programme in collaboration with shipping companies within the island’s cluster.
The department is working towards providing an increasingly digital service offering, enabling a more user-friendly, client-orientated approach. 24/7 support is already offered in addition to a fast, efficient and cost-effective ship registration process, which has recently been updated and is in the process of being automated. Records are being digitised and a new website includes additional e-services such as verification of CLC, Bunkers, Wreck, Athens Convention certificates and registration certificates.
“We’ve worked hard to cement our reputation as a well-established and quality registry, committed to safety, security and excellence,” Pilides said. “Testament to this is the flag’s consistent inclusion in the White List of the Paris, Tokyo and other MoUs for Port State Control, as well as the top quality 24/7 service provided by our technical experts.”
At the same time as developing Cyprus as a maritime cluster, the island also takes an active role in all IMO discussions, “ensuring a positive contribution to international shipping in areas such as environmental protection, the enhancement of safety standards and seafarers’ working conditions and the smooth integration of technology within maritime processes and business models in a way that increases efficiency while ensuring security”.