“It’s ALL about Shipping” talks: Natasa Pilides, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister
Natasa Pilides, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister to the President, was hosted by Gina Panayiotou, on the radio show “It’s All about Shipping!”
Mrs. Pilides, discussed various topics relating to the Shipping Deputy Ministry and the industry, including an important announcement that, together with the Ministry of Education, we are working on the inclusion of a maritime specialization direction in the curriculum of selected technical schools of the public sector, if possible as of September 2019. As she explained; “we are doing a lot of work to reverse seafarer reduction in Cyprus and we would love to see more Cypriot people getting involved in this profession. There will always be a great demand, even with automation.” Mrs. Pilides added that this is an opportunity for young people. Noting also, how shipping is one of the most protected and coveted professions, because of the high standards required by ILO & IMO, explaining that in this respect it is one of the best professions to choose!
During the show, we were also briefed in, on the new initiatives that the Deputy Ministry is working on, such as an upcoming functionality for seafarers to upload their CV’s to be matched with job openings, digitalization of the Deputy Ministry’s records and an electronic ship registration process. Also underway is a digital marketing campaign, as well as a promotional campaign through roadshows, conference participation and one-to-one meetings with important shipping companies and stakeholders in key countries.
What is impressive, is that since the official establishment of the Shipping Deputy Ministry, there has been a significant rise in companies joining the Cyprus tonnage tax system. Mrs. Pilides explained how it is important to keep in touch with all clients, both abroad and also resident companies, which provides useful feedback on their needs. As explained “If people in Cyprus are happy, it really helps us with our image outside of Cyprus.”
She added, that “we are one of very few countries in the world which has successfully grown from registry to cluster. We’ve tried to consistently improve our standard, now and for many years, being a high-quality, white flag.”
Another point worth mentioning, is the reference to how: ”People at the deputy ministry are motivated not because of any personal gain, but because they really want to see the industry progress and that’s a lovely thing. That we are all working for this common goal; and I think that the industry itself, is also working towards that goal. It’s great that everybody is trying to develop the cluster.”
Additionally, she adds that the biggest challenge during change is getting people on board and engaged, not just in seeing the end goal but in being part of it.
On another note, when asked to comment on the feasibility study in respect of the prospect of launching a ferry connection between Limassol and Greece, Mrs. Pilides explained that it requires examination but of course they are hoping that it will work, as “so many people want to see it happen and we also want to see it happen.”
Commenting on IMO 2020, Mrs. Pilides said that “we are very committed to protecting the environment and to constructively contributing towards this effort. As a flag state and port state, we are ready to implement it and what we want to see is consistent implementation. We are here to support our clients and encourage them to be ready, with solutions which are accepted and approved by IMO.”
Reference was also made to the great innovation taking place within the local industry, noting how “Shipping companies have made leaps and bounds in the level of technologies used.”
When asked “Why Cyprus for shipping?,” Mrs. Pilides noted, that the caliber of human talent available in Cyprus is amazing, which is definitely a great asset. The other unique thing about Cyprus, is that the cluster is so united, everybody contributes and everybody feels part of the team.”
Concluding, Mrs. Pilides noted that shipping is an industry of opportunities for the younger generation, “we are working very hard as a global community, not only as Cyprus, to make sure that shipping will remain sustainable.
“It’s ALL about Shipping!,” is hosted by Gina Panayiotou, Head of Shipping at Michael Kyprianou & Co. LLC and it is broadcasted on the community radio of the Cyprus University of Technology (TEPAK), Cut-Radio 95,2. The show is aimed at facilitating mentoring for the younger generation in shipping, and to raise awareness of shipping related matters.
Link to recorder radio show: https://soundcloud.com/gina-panlb/its-all-about-shipping_natasa-pilides-shipping-deputy-minister-of-cyprus_1022019
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