As she explained, purchases and repairs of several vessels have stopped due to the coronavirus. Currently, Cyprus is communicating with shipping companies to advise them on the safety regulations they have to follow, in order to be protected from the new virus.

On another matter, Ms. Pilides also commended efforts to ensure competitiveness in the market, with actions like the transition to the digital age and the promotion of a blue growth strategy to support sustainable maritime growth.

Moreover, the Deputy Minister for Shipping highlighted that the establishment of a ferry link between Cyprus and Greece was a top priority for the maritime industry in the next months. In fact, the link between the two countries was the main topic of discussion during a meeting in Athens between Natasa Pilides and the Greek Minister of Tourism Haris Theoharis, on February 17.

Thew two countries are working on an official joint proposal regarding the potential ports and destinations along the link, which will be tabled to the European Union by the end of March.

In addition, the two ministers are also working on a tax framework that will facilitate the link to be cheaper than a plane ticket and economically sustainable. As of now, there is interest from companies in Cyprus, Greece, Germany, Spain and other EU countries.