President Nicos Christodoulides on Tuesday stressed the need for a unified approach and solid public-private cooperation to address the challenges currently facing the shipping industry.

Speaking at the 35th annual general assembly of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber in Limassol, Christodoulides emphasised the government’s commitment to gender equality in shipping and the effective measures that have recently spurred growth in the sector.

President Christodoulides highlighted significant achievements over the past six months, including a 5.5 per cent rise in the fleet of Cypriot-flagged ships and a 14 per cent increase in the number of companies registered under the Cyprus Commercial Shipping Capacity Tax System.

He praised the Cyprus Shipping Chamber (CSC) for its longstanding partnership and fundamental role in these successes, saying, “Your professionalism, dedication, and expertise have been instrumental in guiding our collective efforts towards the continued progress of Cyprus’ maritime sector.”

The President also pointed out the shipping industry’s vulnerability to geopolitical and economic upheavals, citing the Green and Digital Transition, the war in Ukraine, the conflict in Gaza, and a global shortage of ship officers as key disruptors.

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President Nikos Christodoulides at the Cyprus Shipping Chamber AGM

He reaffirmed the necessity of international cooperation and principled policies for navigating these challenges.

As a small island country with a strong maritime history, we have always relied on policies based on principles and values,” he noted, emphasising the indispensable role of the private sector in this strategic alignment.

Turning to government actions, Christodoulides discussed various initiatives launched by the Deputy Ministry of Shipping aimed at enhancing service quality and competitiveness.

These include the establishment of advisory committees focused on improving the competitiveness and quality of the Cyprus flag and shipping cluster, the inauguration of the One Stop Shipping Centre, and the re-election of Cyprus to the Council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

He also mentioned that the government has allocated land for a new Deputy Ministry of Shipping building, as well as the approval of revised green incentives.

In his speech, the President particularly highlighted the government’s commitment to promoting gender equality within the maritime sector. He proudly referred to recent recognitions such as the 1st Gender Equality Award in Cyprus Shipping awarded to Despina Theodosiou.


President Nikos Christodoulides at the Cyprus Shipping Chamber AGM

“We are proud to promote the empowerment of women, we are proud to provide equal opportunities to all, regardless of their gender, and with our actions, we break the stereotypes of the male-dominated maritime sector,” he added.

Reaffirming the need for closer government-industry collaboration, Christodoulides mentioned ongoing targets and initiatives, including the full digitisation of services expected to be completed by year’s end.

“We will continue to work closely with industry bodies, regulators, and international and EU partners to develop innovative solutions, promote cooperation, and ensure the long-term viability and competitiveness of Cyprus’ maritime sector,” he concluded.

Finally, at the event, President Christodoulides and Themis Papadopoulos, the president of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, also celebrated Philippos Philis for his contributions as President of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) from 2022-2023.