Greek shipping rocked by mass exodus to Cyprus

With shipping hubs the world over sending officials to Athens to persuade the nation’s shipowners to relocate in the wake of the ongoing financial crisis in the Mediterranean nation, one country seems to be winning the hearts and minds of the world’s top shipowning nation.

At least 42 Greek shipping firms have emigrated to Cyprus and entered the island republic’s commercial registers, according to statements from the president of the Limassol Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Costas Galatariotis.

According to data released by the Central Bank of Cyprus during the first six months of 2015, revenues from shipping activities was up 9.3% over the previous six months to EUR464m. The bank noted that much of this growth came from the influx of new Greek owners.

The Cypriot government is now readying a bill which would exempt the children of shipowners who relocate to Cyprus from military service in the Cypriot National Guard.

Shipowners in Greece, who account for roughly one in six merchant ships around the world, are increasingly concerned that the government will raise taxes. Delegations from London, Hong Kong, Singapore and others have flown in to the Greek capital in recent months to try and lure these disaffected owners away.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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