Cyprus is poised to strengthen its position as a globally recognized maritime hub, as stated by Deputy Minister of Shipping, Marina Hadjimanoli. The Cypriot shipping registry’s competitiveness will be further bolstered through fleet upgrades and service enhancements. Despite the challenges faced by the international shipping industry, Cyprus’ maritime foundations remain resilient.
Hadjimanoli emphasized the sector’s unpredictability and complexities, citing examples such as sanctions against Russia, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and recent attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen on vessels in the Red Sea region. However, Cyprus has demonstrated its ability to effectively respond to these issues, showcasing the strength of its maritime foundations.
To reinforce Cypriot shipping, the ministry has already formulated a targeted action plan. Hadjimanoli expressed satisfaction with the progress made thus far and the tangible results achieved. She highlighted the continuous development of the shipping industry and the improvement of services provided.
The recently launched One Stop Shipping Centre, which commenced operations on November 20, aims to offer high-quality services to shipping companies operating in Cyprus. This initiative particularly focuses on their interactions with the Civil Registry and Migration Department, providing a streamlined experience for companies based in the country.
Cyprus’ Re-election to the IMO Council signifies a major accomplishment, as emphasized by Hadjimanoli. The recent voting during the 33rd regular assembly in London on December 1 resulted in Cyprus securing its place in the council once again. This achievement holds great significance as it grants Cyprus the opportunity to actively participate in crucial decision-making processes that shape the future of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and global maritime policies.
Approval of the National Marine Spatial Plan is another noteworthy achievement highlighted by Hadjimanoli. On December 20, the plan was approved by the Ministerial Council, outlining the spatiotemporal distribution for current and future maritime activities and uses in the waters of the Republic of Cyprus. The plan’s objective is to promote sustainable development at sea while considering economic, social, environmental, and cultural aspects.
In conclusion, Hadjimanoli expressed optimism regarding Cyprus’ objectives in strengthening its role as a significant and internationally recognized maritime player, despite any challenges. She emphasized the ministry’s initiatives, such as the complete digitization of its services by 2024, as evidence of the ongoing efforts to enhance Cyprus’ standing in global maritime affairs.