Keravnos: Cyprus is the 9th largest ship registry worldwide
Limassol, Jun 25 (CNA) --- Shipping in Cyprus exhibits a strong dynamism, which is reflected in the fact that Cyprus is the 9th largest ship registry and one of the largest third-party shipmanagement centres in the world, Minister of Finance Makis Keravnos said, today addressing the 2005 International Association of Maritime Economists Conference, in the southern coastal town of Limassol.
''With respect to shipping, in particular, the expected signing and implementation of the Customs Union between the EU and Turkey would inevitably lead to the lifting of the Turkish embargo in the use of Turkish ports by ships under the Cypriot flag or ships managed in Cyprus, thus increasing the attractiveness of Cyprus as an international shipping and transit trade centre'', he noted.
Keravnos said that the rapid growth of the private services sectors, including the shipping sector, is attributed to the utilisation of the comparative advantages of Cyprus, which accrue from the strategic geographical location of Cyprus, the favourable business climate, the high educational level of the labour force and the satisfactory and continuously upgraded standards of the infrastructure in the areas of transport, telecommunications etc.
''Close economic and political ties with the countries of the Middle East as well as with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and relatively high quality of life and good living conditions for foreigners are also amongst the comparative advantages of Cyprus'', he said.
Referring to the prospects of the Cypriot economy in the medium and long-term, Keravnos said that they are favourable and particularly favourable are the prospects for the services sectors, including shipping.
The reasons for this is that Cyprus possesses comparative advantages in the services sectors and the accession to the EU and particularly the safeguarding of the right of establishment and the freedom to provide services creates additional opportunities for the services sectors with the unhindered access of the Cypriot services to the internal market of the EU.
''The prospects are also favourable because the government has a development vision and is currently elaborating a more specific development policy programme, within the framework of the Lisbon strategy, which will enhance the growth potential of the economy and will boost the comparative advantages of the island'', he concluded.