The opening today of the internationally renowned Maritime Cyprus 2015 Conference at the Evagoras Lanitis Centre in Limassol was a great success, attended by distinguished speakers and more than 700 shipping personalities from around the world. The Conference, organised biennially in Cyprus, is taking place this year for the fourteenth time since 1989. The Conference organisers are the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, the Department of Merchant Shipping, the Cyprus Shipping Chamber and the Cyprus Union of Shipowners. The first day´s Conference theme was Shipping “Politics & Economics”.

Mr. Alecos Michaelides, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works first addressed today´s Conference welcoming the participants. The Conference Opening Address of the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Nicos Anastasiades was delivered by the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Mr. Marios Demetriades since the President was unable to attend due to other unforeseen commitments. Distinguished personalities comprised the panel of today´s speakers among them being Mr. Marios Demetriades, Minister of Transport Communications and Works, and Mr. Koji Sekimizu, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation.

In his Opening Address, Mr. Nikos Anastasiades referred to the Cyprus shipping sector as the only sector in Cyprus whose size goes far beyond the size of Cyprus as a country. It is highly acknowledged that shipping acted as a catalyst towards the steady recovery of the Cyprus economy. Shipping and its sustainable growth is thus one of the main concerns and priorities of the Cyprus Government, the President mentioned. The President referred to the need to focus on the future of the Cyprus shipping sector in order to safeguard its steady and substantial growth. The President announced that a study on the Future of Cyprus Shipping had been commissioned by the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works and completed in July 2015. The outcome of the Study has been to develop a strategic plan that sets new targeted goals and actions aiming at rendering the Department of Merchant Shipping more responsive to the challenges that our evolving shipping industry faces. The restructuring and upgrading of the Department of Merchant Shipping will be reviewed in close cooperation with the private sector.

The Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Mr. Marios Demetriades inaugurated today the Maritime Services Exhibition, forming part of the Conference, to which more than 40 exhibitors participate from within the shipping industry.