Cyprus Transport Minister Marios Demetriades said that despite the financial crisis, shipping continued to be the steam engine of the world economy.
Demetriades was addressing the International Maritime Forum, in Batumi, Georgia.
He said the Cyprus registry “ranks among the leading ship registries internationally and has the third largest merchant fleet within the European Union.”
“The maintenance of a high quality fleet and the effective implementation of the internationally applicable standards for the safety of life at sea, the security of ships and port facilities, the protection of the marine environment and the standards for decent work on board ships, constitute the foundation on which Cyprus builds its reputation as a serious maritime flag and as a base for international operations,” he added.
Despite the unprecedented crisis that shipping has been facing “there is no doubt that it continues to be the steam engine of the world economy,” Demetriades said.
“Shipping is not only the most cost efficient method of international trade but also the most carbon efficient, as shown by its minor percentage contribution to the global greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector,” he added. Shipping was responsible for just 2 per cent of global CO2 emissions.
Referring to the role of Cyprus within the International Maritime Organisation, Demetriades said the island had played a positive and constructive role in its efforts to achieve maritime safety and environmental protection, and was determined to continue.
“This is widely recognized among IMO member States, which have been electing Cyprus as a Member of the IMO Council for the last 20 years,” he said.
Cyprus had also concluded a strategy for its national integrated maritime policy.
“This integrated approach will allow Cyprus to exploit sustainably the resources and capabilities of the sea and contribute to an optimal and sustainable development of all related activities, the creation of new jobs and opportunities and the improvement of the quality of the marine environment,” he said.