Importance of Shipping to Cyprus; what does the future hold?
by Takis Taoushanis*, Company Director SRH Marine SAIT
Under certain conditions and with the right support from the Government and other public bodies, Cyprus shipping can be the driving force for the revitalisation of the Cypriot economy. This has happened in the past and it is envisaged that shipping can again assist to pull the country out of recession. Shipping continues to contribute approximately 7% of GDP, representing one of the most important and productive sectors of the Cyprus economy.
Noteworthy is the fact that Cyprus ranks third in Europe and 11th worldwide in terms of fleet size. Around 1,700 ships carry the Cyprus flag, with more than 1,000 of which being oceangoing. Moreover, as far as ship management is concerned, Cyprus ranks top in Europe and amongst the largest in the world, with revenues estimated to exceed €1bn pa. The above positive rankings are not expected to change because of the pandemic.
As it happens with the majority of the economic sectors, Cypriot shipping will need to rely on some government support to pull through. Lack of liquidity is an obvious problem that shipping companies are experiencing. The next steps of the Cyprus government, within the general parameters laid down by Brussels, are anxiously awaited.
According to the Cyprus Shipping Council (CSC), whilst the shipping industry is still in unchartered territory, the future will become clearer with the gradual resumption of world economic activity. Following the unavoidable slowdown of international trade, the whole industry is re-adjusting, seeking to find solutions to the numerous practical problems which have arisen so that the world supply chain can be fully reinstated. New policies and practices need to be introduced to meet the challenges posed by Covid19.
Shipping has managed to weather big storms in the past and there is little doubt that it will successfully do so again. More so in the case of Cyprus, the country’s exemplary response to the crisis and the fact that it has taken the right measures in a timely manner, justify cautious optimism for the future.
*CIRM finds itself busy as ever in supporting member companies in these difficult times. Takis Taoushanis wrote this article below for our member magazine ‘Spotlight on Ship Service’ which morphed this month into several articles on the impact of COVID-19. For all enquires on CIRM membership, please email Frances Baskerville email@example.com