Vassilios Demetriades has been officially sworn in as the new Shipping Deputy Minister of the Republic of Cyprus following a mini cabinet reshuffle by the President earlier this month.
In his acceptance statement Demetriades pledged to continue growing the Cyprus maritime cluster and flag through “updating, simplification and modernisation of the relevant legislative framework,” as well as “quality improvements” and “strengthened collaboration with our stakeholders across the public and private sectors.”
The Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry (SDM) was created in March 2018 as an acknowledgement of the importance of maritime affairs to the country – a new full Ministry being precluded under the national constitution while the Turkish issue remains unresolved – headed up by Natasa Pilides, who was promoted to Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry in the reshuffle.
Demetriades brings considerable shipping experience to his role, having worked the past five years as a maritime policy officer in Brussels at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport, and before that as head of EU Affairs at the Ministry in charge of transport within the Cyprus Government.
Cyprus itself is now established as a leading maritime nation within the European Union with the EU’s third largest flag of some 1,100 oceangoing merchant ships of more than 24m gt. In addition, shipping represents 7% of the island’s GDP, making it the second most important sector behind tourism, and around 3% of the national workforce.
“Effective co-operation and collaboration between regulators and the industry lies at the heart of ensuring we are building a better, more sustainable future for shipping,” concluded Demetriades in his acceptance statement. “I hope that my experience from previous roles working with the EU … will support Cyprus’ continuing role in shaping progress.”
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