According to the Director of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber, Thomas Kazakos, Cypriot shipping is determined to maintain its progressive path in 2024. Kazakos emphasizes that continued involvement of the Shipping Chamber in governmental maritime policy decision-making is essential for the industry’s advancement. In an interview with InBusinessNews, as part of the “IN Business Forecasting 2024,” Kazakos highlights that while the future of Cypriot shipping holds promising opportunities, it also poses significant challenges.
The shipping industry in Cyprus shows great promise and has been on a successful trajectory. With a strong maritime tradition and a favorable legal and tax framework, Cyprus has become a leading global shipping hub.
The sector has contributed significantly to the Cypriot economy and has been a major source of employment and investment. The government has implemented various initiatives and measures to further boost the shipping industry, attracting more international companies to register their vessels under the Cyprus flag.
Furthermore, the establishment of the Deputy Ministry of Shipping has played a crucial role in streamlining procedures, enhancing efficiency, and promoting the growth of the sector. Efforts have been made to develop infrastructure, upgrade ports, and facilitate the expansion of the shipping industry.
Overall, the shipping sector in Cyprus is expected to continue its positive trajectory, contributing to the country’s economic growth and development.
In 2024, the shipping industry is expected to see significant trends and changes. One of the biggest trends is the continued integration of digital technology into various aspects of shipping operations. Automation and the use of advanced applications are expected to enhance ship management and improve the safety of shipping activities.
Another major trend is the increasing focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility. With upcoming environmental regulations, the industry is anticipated to accelerate the adoption of green practices. The need for sustainable solutions to environmental challenges will drive changes in fuel sources, waste management, and overall operational practices.
Furthermore, geopolitical challenges and potential crises in the region may have an impact on the industry. Managing these challenges effectively will be crucial for the success of shipping companies. The resilience and professional management of the sector will play decisive roles in navigating these potential obstacles.
Overall, the industry is expected to benefit from the recovery of the global economy, leading to increased demand for shipping services. The Cypriot shipping sector, with its modern and high-tech fleet, is poised to play an important role in the global maritime scene. However, it will require continuous participation from organizations like the Chamber of Shipping and collaboration with government agencies to maintain existing successes and implement new improvement measures for a promising future with stable, transparent, and positive growth prospects.
The shipping sector is currently experiencing a time of significant change and is continuously adapting to meet environmental regulations and achieve full decarbonization. The sector is expected to continue its efforts in 2024 by incorporating new technologies and systems to address the challenges it faces in a sustainable manner.
One major aspect of this adaptation will be the development of sustainable solutions in the fuel sector. The industry is expected to transition towards alternative energy sources that are more environmentally friendly, and the use of LNG and battery technology for electric propulsion is predicted to become more widespread.
Furthermore, the integration of digital technology and IoT applications will play a crucial role in enhancing connectivity and management within the shipping industry. This advancement will improve the efficiency of port facilities and supply chain management.
Overall, the shipping sector will need to address these important issues in 2024 as it strives to meet environmental targets and adapt to new technologies.
- Maintain the specialised taxation system for shipping companies: It is crucial that the well-known ‘Cyprus Capacity Tax System’ is not affected by the new OECD rules and the relevant European Directive, as it plays a significant role in attracting shipping companies to Cyprus.
- Preserve the unique characteristics of ship owning and ship management: It is important to ensure that any new regulations or policies do not jeopardize the industry’s stability and the reputation it has built over the past 40 years.
- Address geopolitical uncertainties: The ongoing war in Ukraine and the conflicts in the Middle East can have implications on the price of oil and freight. The government should closely monitor these developments and take appropriate measures to mitigate any potential negative impacts on the shipping sector.
- Enhance security in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden: The attacks by paramilitary forces on commercial ships passing through these regions pose a serious threat to international shipping and safety at sea. The government should actively engage in international efforts to address these security concerns and ensure compliance with international maritime regulations.
- Provide access to financing for shipowners: Cypriot shipowners currently face challenges in accessing substantial financing in Cyprus, especially as they undergo a “green transformation” to meet international and European regulatory obligations. The government should consider establishing a Specialised Financial Organization in the Shipping sector to provide the necessary financial support for ship-owning companies. By taking these specific measures and formulating supportive policies, the government can significantly strengthen the shipping sector and enhance Cyprus’ image as an attractive and competitive shipping center.
The Cyprus Chamber of Shipping has identified several key areas for further development and improvement in the shipping industry. These include the establishment of a One-Stop-Shipping-Centre and the immediate creation of a Limited Liability Shipping Company. Additionally, the Chamber aims to digitize and automate the services of the Deputy Ministry of Shipping and create a specialized financial organization to support the “Green” transformation of the sector.
Implementing these actions is expected to have a positive impact not only on Cypriot shipping but also on European shipping as a whole. It will provide increased political influence at a regional and global level and bring significant benefits to the labor market for seafarers in all sectors.
To ensure the sustainability and competitiveness of Cypriot shipping, the Chamber recognizes the need for vigilance, flexibility, and targeted support in resilient sectors that have comparative advantages and can contribute to the wider economic and social development of Cyprus.
The Chamber’s main objectives include promoting the interests of Cypriot shipping, enhancing the prestige of the Cypriot flag, and defending the interests of its members through active cooperation with the government, the House of Representatives, and other professional organizations. It also aims to expand its involvement in international maritime organizations and participate in local and international maritime events.
In 2024, the Chamber will celebrate its 35th anniversary and organize various professional, social, and philanthropic events. These events will showcase the recognition received by Cypriot shipping at both local and international levels, as well as highlight the industry’s significant contribution to the Cypriot economy and society.
Regarding the role of technology, such as artificial intelligence, in the shipping industry, the Chamber recognizes its potential for improving efficiency, automating operations, enhancing safety and sustainability, and reducing time and costs. However, successful implementation requires careful planning, investment, and adaptation to evolving technologies and regulations.
While AI offers opportunities for digital transformation, challenges such as data privacy, cyber security, and talent development need to be addressed. Regulatory and legal frameworks should also be developed to govern the use of artificial intelligence in the maritime sector.