Address by the Minister of Shipping, Maritime Affairs & and the Aegean Kostis Moussouroulis 4th Annual Capital Link Greek Shipping Forum «Navigating through Challenges and Opportunities»

«Mr Chairman,

Distinguished Guests from the International business and shipping community,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to attend - representing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras - the 4th Annual Greek Shipping Forum organized by Capital Link. The Prime Minister and I, would like to congratulate the organizers on the establishment of the Capital Link Shipping Leadership Award.

Shipping business means:

·                    vision,

·                    everyday effort,

·                    devotion and

·                    business morality.

So, it is a very difficult task to select one person every year among so many prominent Greeks in shipping who demonstrate those qualities.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Forum’s topic, clearly demonstrates the Greek society’s concerns, as well as our government’s objectives. We are facing major challenges, such as the improvement of the investment environment, the creation of jobs and the rationalization of the public sector. Greecehas to build its future on a new growth model and on a new relationship between the public and the private sector.

Where does our Ministry come into this?

I will just stress a few points:

·                    For Greece, maritime economy is a key factor of growth.

·                    Greeceis a star - country in the maritime trade flows.

·                    Shipping generates significant direct added value and employment. The interaction with other sea - related sectors, has a multiplying effect through the maritime cluster and its capabilities.

According to recently published studies, the total added value could reach the outstanding amount of 26 billion Euros. We are working hard so that this goal can become a reality. Beyond the key decision of the re-establishment of the Ministry of Shipping and Maritime Affairs, I would like to emphasize the following:

1.                  First, we are laying down solid foundations for the smooth operation of the Ministry. The relevant draft law will be tabled shortly in the Parliament. In this legislation, we are defining the functions and the structure of the Ministry, but also the role of the Hellenic Coast Guard, as its supporting pillar.

2.                  Secondly, we have decided to further develop the Hellenic Registry. Tomorrow, we will hold a press conference on the simplification and improvement of registry procedures to the national flag. You are all invited to attend.

3.                  Thirdly, we need a new generation of well qualified seamen. In this direction, we are taking steps in modernizing maritime education and training, by improving the infrastructure and the educational programmes, with the help also of the shipping community. We should all together work to attract young people at sea.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Greek government as a whole and the Ministry of Shipping, are working with dedication towards one goal: to navigate our country quickly and safely out of the crisis. Our policies are designed to facilitate and achieve this.

Before closing my address, I would like, on behalf of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, to congratulate Captain Panayiotis Tsakos from Kardamyla. Captain, I congratulate you. Your distinction is making me especially proud for our common homeland, Chios.

I will not take your time speaking of Captain Panayiotis’ achievements in the shipping business, which are well known. Another prominent Greek, Professor Grammenos, will do it better than me. I only wish to refer to the Tsakos Foundation, praising both its excellent work, which has made people from Uruguayspeak Greek and admire our culture, as well as its fund-raising efforts for important causes. Captain Tsakos has set a very strong example.

Dear friends,

We should all align our commitment on strengthening Greek Shipping. Shipping is a sector of national supremacy. It has the power to inspire us and help us look with optimism into the future.

Thank you.»



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