The WISTA Hellas 2016 Annual Forum brought key players from the Greek and international shipping community together for an animated panel discussion on the uncertainty dominating the global market at Intercontinental Hotel in Athens on Thursday 8 December. More than 300 shipping professionals attended the debate entitled “The Shipping industry maintaining its resilience in a continuously unstable environment” and follow-up dialogues by representatives from major market sectors, which further added to the success of the event.
Efthimios Mitropoulos, Secretary-General Emeritus of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and Chairman of the Maria Tsakos Public Benefit Foundation, opened the forum which was moderated by Nigel Lowry, Correspondent of Lloyd’s List in Greece. The panel was composed of (in alphabetical order): Mariella Bottiglieri-Green, Managing Director of Giuseppe Bottiglieri Shipping Company S.p.A.; Karin Orsel, CEO of MF Shipping Group, Vice President of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and President of WISTA International; Irene Panagopoulos, Managing Director of Magna Marine Inc.; Nicky A. Pappadakis, Chairman A.G. Pappadakis and Co. Ltd. & Vice Chairman Emeritus of INTERCARGO; Mr. Akis Tsirigakis, CEO of the Nautilus Offshore Services Inc.; and Harry Vafias, President and CEO of StealthGas Inc.
Each panelist offered their insight into the forum’s theme and responded to questions about some of the greatest challenges facing shipping today. The result was an open and impulsive discussion that kept the audience focused to the very end. Subjects discussed included global financial instability, low freight rates, maritime training, challenges faced by specific sectors, new onboard technology, and new investment in an uncertain business environment. A wide range of opinions and perspectives were aired, ensuring strong engagement throughout the debate.
In her opening address, WISTA Hellas President Angie Hartmann said: “Greek shipping stands tall, against every obstacle, showing great strength and honoring its history and tradition. It continues to maintain the leading role in the international maritime market”.
Closing the forum, Mrs. Hartmann thanked the panelists, the sponsors and the audience for a constructive and successful event, and invited everyone to a cocktail reception which lasted long into the evening.