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Address by the President of the House at the annual General Meeting of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber - 30/5/2019

Address by the President of the House at the annual General Meeting of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber - 30/5/2019

ADDRESS BY H.E. THE PRESIDENT OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MR DEMETRIS SYLLOURIS AT THE 30th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE CYPRUS SHIPPING CHAMBER - Thursday, 30 May 2019, 12:00 noon - Four Seasons Hotel, Limassol 

It is with great pleasure that I address today the 30th Annual General Meeting of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber. Since its establishment back in 1989, the Chamber has been a most reliable and active contributor to our island’s economy. 

Through the concerted efforts of all relevant stakeholders and the wise guidance and support of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, Cyprus has succeeded in developing a robust and constantly evolving shipping industry of a renowned global standing. It is currently one of the largest ship management centres in the world, with the Cyprus Registry being the 11th largest merchant fleet in the world. This is quite an impressive achievement, especially when one considers the challenges as a result of the embargo that Turkey imposes on Cyprus flag vessels as well as vessels of any nationality related to the Republic of Cyprus in terms of ownership or ship management.

Furthermore, the shipping sector is recognized as a fundamental and essential pillar for regional collaboration. The discovery of important hydrocarbon deposits in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and in the broader region has upgraded Cyprus’ geostrategic role. It has also acted as impetus for enhancing relations with neighbouring countries, predominantly through the tripartite cooperation mechanisms that Cyprus and Greece have established with, among others, Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. In addition to their political significance, these developments broaden the scope of our shipping industry and provide further incentives for growth to our maritime sector. 
 
I can assure you all that the House of Representatives spares no effort in ensuring the respect of our country’s sovereign rights, by utilizing every tool at its disposal in the context of various demarches and initiatives addressed to counterparts around the world. 

The House is mindful of the challenges that Cyprus and Global Shipping Industry is currently facing. Flattening demand growth, industry consolidation forcing freight rates down, fuel emissions regulations, Cybersecurity, Digitalization, and e-commerce are only some of them. Furthermore, the House is fully aware of the Chamber’s multi-layered role and its importance for the growth and development of our economy, all the more so when considering the possibilities arising from the exploitation of our natural gas resources. In this respect, we shall continue to work in synergy to actively support the shipping sector in its mission, which will help create, through reforms, an even more attractive legal and business framework that will enhance the competitiveness of our maritime cluster.

In closing, allow me to congratulate you for your overall contribution towards the economic growth and prosperity of Cyprus and to wish you every success in your deliberations and in all your future endeavours. 


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