Cyprus is taking centre stage this week in world shipping with its maritime week proving hugely popular; the latest chapter on the island’s charge up the maritime hub rankings.
Last year Cyprus made shipping a cabinet position within government, with Natasa Pilides tasked with taking shipping to the next level. A whirlwind of events, incentives and regulations have since passed and Cyprus is now widely seen as among the most energetic maritime centres in Europe.
“It’s certainly been a busy first year,” concedes Pilides in an exclusive interview with Maritime CEO. “In terms of growing the register of Cyprus ships and the Cyprus maritime cluster, we’ve worked hard to increase awareness on a global stage.”
This has been underpinned by a rebranding exercise which has enabled Cyprus to better represent itself, as well as clearly articulating the benefits of Cyprus and the opportunity it presents. Through roadshows, attendance at industry events and other promotional activities, Cyprus has intensified its presence in key shipping hubs across the world such as Athens, London, Hamburg, New York, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
Cyprus is still best known for its shipmanagement strengths. Today some 3,500 vessels – around 80m dwt – is managed from the island representing about 20% of the world’s third-party managed fleet and 4.5% of the world fleet.
The Cyprus flag, meanwhile, is growing fast with 1,110 ships on its books making it the 11th largest in the world. Plans thave been tabled in parliament to abolish initial ship registration fees to boost sign ups for the register.
“We have a strong maritime services infrastructure spanning the breadth of insurance, legal, accounting and shipmanagement to bunkering and technical services, all offering a professional and reliable 24/7 service. In tandem with the growing number of ships under the Cyprus flag, more and more companies are choosing to expand their presence in Cyprus as we offer a unique combination of highly qualified professionals, unrivalled quality of life, and an ideal location in terms of time zone and access to emerging markets,” Pilides insists, opinions backed up by a host of owners and managers who have been attending many of this week’s maritime events across the island.
This article first appeared in Maritime CEO magazine. Splash readers can access the full magazine for free online by clicking here.