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Ladies and gentlemen, Good evening.

I am delighted and honoured to be present here today to address the Presentation of the Collector’s Album “Pioneers of Cyprus Shipping- 60 years of Cyprus Shipping”.

I wish to express my gratitude to the organisers and Adonis in particular for this truly unique event to commemorate the maritime history of Cyprus throughout the 60 years since the establishment of the Cyprus Registry of Ships and to honour all those who have contributed to Cyprus shipping.

The history of shipping and maritime tradition of Cyprus can be traced back to more than three thousand years.The strategic location of our country, at the crossroads of 3 continents played a significant role in the development and establishment of Cyprus as an important shipping centre.

Following the independence of Cyprus more than 60 years ago, a vision was conceived and the pioneers of the Cyprus shipping industry, with their unwavering determination, set sail on uncharted waters. Recognizing the political, economic and social importance of shipping, through their perseverance, continued efforts, foresight and determination, these innovators charted a course that transformed the landscape of global shipping.

Their legacy is not merely engraved in the archives of history but is entwined into the very core of our nation's identity.

Last year marked 60 years since the birth of the Cyprus Registry of Ships. 60 years since the first Merchant Shipping Laws were enacted, which laid the foundation for the establishment of the Registry of Cyprus Ships and the beginning of ship registration in 1963 in Famagusta which following the Turkish invasion in 1974, continued from Limassol, which is now designated as the port of registry of ships flying the Cyprus flag.

More than six decades of endless and tireless efforts, unforeseeable situations and challenges with the sole goal of consolidating the leading role of Cyprus in international shipping through a resilient shipping sector.

Shipping is a sector which is of great pride to the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and is one of the main pillars with significant contribution to our economy and throughout the years we have witnessed a continuous and steady growth despite the turbulent times and challenges faced.

Major milestones in the evolution of shipping in Cyprus include the establishment in 1977 of the Department of Merchant Shipping, the appointment of marine surveyors and maritime officers, the establishment of maritime offices in major shipping centres abroad to provide a wide range of services to Cyprus ships, seafarers and shipowners, managers and operators.The election of Cyprus to the Council of the International Maritime Organization for the first time in 1987 was another landmark in the history of Cyprus shipping.

The accession of Cyprus to the European Union was also of great significance as this led to the updating of the maritime legislation and harmonisation with the European acquis leading to the further development and strengthening of Cyprus shipping.

The establishment in March 2018 of the Shipping Deputy Ministry, after unanimous approval by all members of parliament, initiated a new era for shipping in Cyprus demonstrating the political support of the Government to the shipping sector. The creation of an autonomous Shipping Deputy Ministry reporting directly to the President of the Republic of Cyprus, increased the functionality, effectiveness and flexibility of the shipping administration contributing to the acceleration of decision-making process and improvement of the services provided.

Today Cyprus is a modern, efficient and integrated maritime centre and is among the largest ship management centres in the world and the largest in Europe. Cyprus has a large resident shipping industry with over 250 companies based on the island covering the full range of shipping activities and related services. The number of shipping companies that are part of the Cyprus Tonnage Tax System has currently reached 420 in number. More than 55,000 seafarers are employed on Cyprus ships and about 9,000 people are employed by shipping companies based in Cyprus.

Today, we stand on the threshold of celebration, reflection, and tribute, honouring the remarkable journey that has placed Cyprus into the forefront of global maritime excellence.

Today, we honour these visionary innovators whose determination and foresight laid the foundation upon which the Cyprus shipping industry now proudly stands, but also all those who have in their own way contributed to the success story of Cyprus shipping.

In commemorating this significant milestone, I wish to also express my gratitude to all those who have paved the way and contributed in any way to elevate Cyprus to its leading position in the global maritime industry and contributed significantly to our nation's economy. To all employees of the Shipping Deputy Ministry, past and present, to the shipowners, maritime professionals, policymakers, and stakeholders who have worked tirelessly to elevate Cyprus to its esteemed position.

In closing, let us remember that while today is a celebration of the past, it is also a reaffirmation of our commitment to work tirelessly to lead Cyprus to even higher paths and seize new opportunities. As we reflect on the achievements of the past six decades, let us honour the legacy of the pioneers who have paved the way, and let us embark upon the next chapter of our maritime journey to lead Cyprus shipping towards a new era and inspire generations to come.

Thank you.

Tuesday, 28th May 2024, 19:00 - Passenger Terminal 5, DP World Limassol Port, Limassol

Address by the Shipping Deputy Minister, Ms. Marina Hadjimanolis - Presentation of “Pioneers of Cyprus Shipping”-60 Years of Cyprus Shipping (28/05/2024) Address by the Shipping Deputy Minister, Ms. Marina Hadjimanolis - Presentation of “Pioneers of Cyprus Shipping”-60 Years of Cyprus Shipping (28/05/2024) Address by the Shipping Deputy Minister, Ms. Marina Hadjimanolis - Presentation of “Pioneers of Cyprus Shipping”-60 Years of Cyprus Shipping (28/05/2024) Address by the Shipping Deputy Minister, Ms. Marina Hadjimanolis - Presentation of “Pioneers of Cyprus Shipping”-60 Years of Cyprus Shipping (28/05/2024)