HONG KONG: The crisis in Greece seems to have persuaded 42 Greek shipping companies to register in Cyprus this year, potentially giving a boost to Limassol, a city that is already leading Cyprus out of the crisis.
Rumours that Greek shipping companies were thinking of moving to Cyprus have been circulating for a while, but there had previously been no confirmation.
“About 42 Greek companies have registered in Cyprus this year”, President of the Limassol Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI) Costas Galatariotis told The Cyprus Weekly.
The Cyprus fleet of over 1,000 vessels with 21 million in gross tonnage is the third largest in Europe and the tenth largest in the world, while the shipping sector accounts for around 6% of Cyprus GDP.
If company registration turns into an increase in ship management companies locating themselves in Cyprus this can be expected to contribute substantially to the economic prosperity of Cyprus in the form of value-added tax, real estate, and other revenues.
Shipping will also benefit from the privatisation of the operations of the Limassol Port. Galatariotis said that its imminent expansion of 220,000 square metres (sq m) of land to the west is expected to contribute greatly to the expansion of the Cyprus shipping industry.
Last but not least, a new state-of-the-art passenger terminal is expected to be completed by February 2016, opening new boundaries for the cruiseliners industry. The strong anchor of the shipping sector is also why Limassol is leading the way out of the crisis. Business activity has been slowly picking up and most sectors are starting to show signs of recovery.