Maritime Cyprus an International Success

INTERTANKO this week attended the Maritime Cyprus Conference 2003 held in Limassol. With speakers from all regions of the globe the conference illustrated Cyprus’ key role as an international shipping centre.

The three-day conference illustrated the diversity of important issues which the industry is addressing at the moment, ranging from flag state responsibility to maritime security and political influence on shipping operations. A broad range of international speakers ensured that a sufficient range of opinions and ideas on these pertinent issues provoked some valuable discussion.

Some interesting questions regarding quality in the industry and improving the state of public opinion were put forward by Mr. Nicolaos Tsakos, who suggested that the industry needed to illustrate to the public the billions of dollars spent every year in safety and environmental investments. Mr. Tsakos went further in questioning why the shipping industry, one of the oldest in the world, should have to learn from one of the youngest, namely the airline industry.

An interesting concept was developed in the discussion following the session on flag state responsibilities. Fuelled by Frederick Tsao’s suggestion of a string of international bodies which could represent each sector of the shipping industry, the concept of an international flag state association was raised and gained much support. Generally it was felt that a body of this nature would allow the more reputable flags to work together in enhancing quality in the industry and allow owners to identify more effectively those flags which were being proactive on this matter.

Contact: Tim Wilkins