Showing the huge economic importance of shipping to the island, the president of Cyprus was on hand Monday for the opening address at the Maritime Cyprus 2017 conference in Limassol, a red carpet event designed to lure more owners, especially from Greece, to relocate.
Nicos Anastasiades, the president of the republic, hailed Cyprus as one of the most important international shipping centres in the world.
“Currently Cyprus enjoys the eleventh largest merchant fleet in the world and the third largest in the EU, and is one of the largest shipmanagement centres in the world,” Anastasiades said.
Shipping now accounts for around 7% of the republic’s GDP, according to Anastasiades.
“We are well aware of the fact that the Cyprus shipping sector operates in a continuously evolving and highly competitive global environment, and this, in turn, requires stability and innovative forward-planning which supports long-term planning and investment,” Anastasiades said, adding: “In this regard, further consolidating and enhancing the competitiveness of our flag and our maritime cluster remains one of the most important priorities of the government.”
Anastasiades went on to detail a raft of tax changes his government has made in a bid to lure more shipowners to the island.
The president also addressed two events on Sunday evening, a reception in Limassol and an official dinner at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia with many well known shipowners in attendance.