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The Decision Makers Forum

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Navigator 2013: this is what we call a full house!

Navigator 2013: this is what we call a full house!

NAVIGATOR Shipping Consultants – 12th “NAVIGATOR 2013 – The Decision Makers Forum” Athenaeum InterContinental Hotel, Athens 

For the 12th year in a row, NAVIGATOR SHIPPING CONSULTANTS organized the 12th NAVIGATOR 2013 “The Shipping Decision Makers Forum”. The Forum took place on 20th of November 2013 at the Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel, attended by almost 500 significant personalities of the Greek Shipping Community.

The Minister of the Hellenic Ministry of Shipping and the Aegean, Mr. Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, made the opening address of the Forum. His speech was focused on the current issue of the privatization of the Port of Piraeus and the objections that have been raised against its sale and also stressed out the commitment of COSCO PACIFIC for investing 230 million Euros on the Port Terminal III. In addition, the Minister underlined that within the next six months special attention will be given to maritime education and new reforms will occur.

Maritime undergraduate and post-graduate students from major universities and educational institutions of our country were among the participants, a fact that highlighted the need for the creation and establishment of the “next generation” in Shipping.

For one more year, the open discussion between foreign Ambassadors further intrigued the audience’s interest.

The Ambassadors of Canada and Turkey to Greece, H.E. Mr. Robert Peck and H.E. Mr. Kerim Uras, under the moderation of Mr. Ilias Bissias, Director of NAFTIKA CHRONIKA SHIPPING MAGAZINE, presented their national strategies in order to support the shipping and shipbuilding industries.

The Ambassador of Canada discussed extensively about the Canadian Maritime Cluster and the emphasis given by the Government aiming to protect the environment and to improve the infrastructure of the major ports of the country.

In addition, the Ambassador of Turkey stated his comments about the Cyprus “embargo”, the government of Ankara seems to be optimistic that the matter will be resolved in the near future. The Ambassador also discussed the potential co-operation between Greece and Turkey and the great Greek activities of shipbuilding and ship repairs in Tuzla of Turkey.

RINA's Spyros Zolotas, Atlas Maritime Philimon Patitsas and Captain Dimitris Bezantakos

RINA’s Spyros Zolotas, Atlas Maritime Philimon Patitsas and Captain Dimitris Bezantakos

The audience questioned both of the Ambassadors if there are career opportunities in their countries respectively for new and qualified Greek scientists at specific time period of global crisis.

The session of “Current Market Issues” was moderated by Dorothea Ioannou, Head of the Piraeus Office of the Managers of the American P&I Club.  With a stellar panel consisting of Mr. Michael Lund, Deputy Secretary General of BIMCO, Mr. Kostas Karagatsos Captain Hellenic Coast Guard, Mr.  Panos G. Moraitis, CEO of Aspida Maritime Security Mr. George Souravlas, CEO of Load Line Marine S.A., Vice President – Hellenic Shortsea, Shipowners Association (HSSA), Mr. Jeff Horst, Commercial Director of FOSS MARITIME, Mr. Francesc Dianez, Manager of Next Maritime, Dorothea gauged panellists views on some of the latest shipping trends running across the industry.  Given the wide range of represented interests on the expert panel, engaging discussions ranged from the effect of the recession on the various maritime sectors across the globe; the obstacles facing our most valuable resource, the seafarer; continuing developments on the ever more violent acts of piracy in West Africa and the danger of complacency in dealing with piracy off East Africa; and finally, one of the most overlooked maritime professions and struggles, that of the Hellenic Coast Guard in fighting organized crime involving illegal immigration and human trafficking at sea.

The panel of “Technical Issues” was moderated by Mrs. Helena Athoussaki, CEO of CARBON POSITIVE and it was consisted by Mr. Jonas Hagglund of MacGregor, Mr. Konstanstinos Stambedakis, Director of the Research, Development and Engineeting Department-General Director of ERMA FIRST ESK Engineering Solutions S.A., Capt. Paul Hailwood-Master Mariner of UNITED KINGDOM HYDROGRAPHIC OFFICE/ADMIRALTY, Dr. Constantinos Rokkos-CEO and Managing Director of TST INTERNATIONAL S.A.-Governor in the International Propeller Club of the United States, International Port of Piraeus, Greece and Mr. Spyridon Zolotas –Area Manager, Greece & Cyprus RINA HELLAS LTD.

The discussion was around the global shipping community which is entering into a challenging area and in today’s competitive market, environment, safety and energy efficiency are becoming essential drivers for shipping’s sustainable future.

In a very informative session, the panellists with expertise in LNG, BWTS, ECDIS, cargo systems and ship operations, shared views on the available technologies, the technological challenges, as well as the financial and operational implications in order to address effectively the plethora of environmental regulations.

Danae Bezantakos at the centre during the Lottery proceedings

Danae Bezantakos at the centre during the Lottery proceedings

There was an optimism for the new fuel, LNG, a certain scepticism about the energy performance claims, but also some uncertainty around the standards and approvals for the Ballast Water Treatment system.  The human component was highly addressed for the effective use of measures and information systems like ECDIS, while the drive for efficiency moves cargo handling systems towards electrical driven solutions.

Oinousses was the honoured island for the NAVIGATOR 2013 Forum and the mayor of the island, Mr. Evangelos Angelakos, referred to its significant maritime history in an inspired speech.

Mr. Angelakos characterized the story of Oinousses as one “success story”, as the people of the island succeeded through adversity and they proved their positive aspects.


Evangelos Angelakos at the podium

Evangelos Angelakos at the podium

After the Forum, the technical seminars of the UNITED KINGDOM HYDROGRAPHIC OFFICE (ADMIRALTY) and MACGREGOR took place by attracting many decision makers of the technical departments of Greek Shipping Companies. The workshop of ADMIRALTY was based on the implementation of ECDIS procedures and the seminar of MACGREGOR was subjected to the increase of vessel’s earnings with the right cargo handling solution.

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