The government of Cyprus will support and bolster growth of the country’s maritime sector, Marios Demetriades, minister of transport, communications and works, told the Cyprus Maritime conference in Limassol today.
“I would like to assure you that the Cyprus government is fully committed to safeguarding the shipping and maritime sector by doing the utmost to guarantee continuous sustainable growth,” Demetriades told the conference, according to reports in the Cypriot press.
“The most important thing is to strengthen the sector and make sure that the maritime administration focuses as much as possible,” he continued. The shipping industry accounts for 7% of Cyprus’ gross domestic product.
Demetriades said he expects the development of hydrocarbons in Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone to prompt foreign shipping companies to relocate their offices to Cyprus to take advantage of growing Eastern Mediterranean offshore markets.
In July, Cyprus completed a study of its maritime sector, concerning both public and private businesses, and action will be taken in response to the study’s findings, Demetriades said.
The maritime administration will be restructured and new promotional campaigns and tax incentives will be launched, he continued. The country’s Department of Merchant Shipping will also receive a new corporate identity.
The port of Limassol (pictured) is currently undergoing privatisation, which is on schedule and should be completed in March 2016, the minister said.