Specifically, Esben Poulsson stated that:
Co-operation with CSC is excellent and as far as ICS is concerned CSC is pretty much a model example of what an effective national shipowners’ association should be like
He also highlighted that the CSC is very effective in taking agreed ICS positions to the Cyprus Government and recognised its important role towards shaping future policies for international shipping.
Regarding the Turkish embargo on Cyprus shipping, Mr. Poulsson said that despite the fact that the ICS is a non-political trade association, it supports free trade principles. For this reason, ICS has communicated with the United Nations to find a resolution to this trade restriction.
In addition, ICS is concerned regarding the upcoming 2020 sulphur cap. Mr. Poulsson clarified that the ICS fully supports the new regulation, as it will bring significant benefits to human health and the oceans. A positive indicator is the fact that the shipping industry has cooperated with regulators and is already preparing for implementation.
Nonetheless, he is concerned about the price effects, as it is still unknown what the exact cost of compliant low sulphur fuels will be on 1 January, and in the immediate months before as shipowners start ordering these fuels.
He explained that prices of low sulphur fuel are expected to be much more expensive than the residual fuel, which most of existing ships burn today. However, there will be differences from region to region and port to port.
Talking about the future of shipping, the ICS Chairman noted that the prospects for future trade growth look worrying, especially considering the fact that global GDP growth could be slower this year and further decelerate next year as well.
Finally, he added that except from the danger that the trade war between the US and China has created, there are indications that the rate of growth in China is slowing down. He explained that if the trade war continues, it would reduce investment and economic activity. However, he is optimistic that the dispute between China and the US will be successfully resolved.