The Minister of Shipping and Island Policy, Giannis Plakiotakis, from Davos, Switzerland, pointed out the strategic interventions that are necessary in the shipping industry, in order for the industry to be able to meet the great and important challenges.

“Let’s all join forces”

“Due to the pandemic, but also to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we need to readjust our priorities once again. “Everyone should realize that shipping is a global industry and for this reason global rules are required”, said Mr. Plakiotakis.

As he said, “decarbonization is the biggest challenge that shipping will face in the future, culminating in the availability of safe, alternative and zero-carbon fuels. To achieve this, we need to work together. “Let us all join forces and present realistic policies and workable measures in this area.”

“The survival of Greek coastal shipping is paramount”

The Minister of Shipping and Island Policy, from the podium of the Greek House Davos, where he was together with the Minister of Investment of Panama, José Alejandro Rojas, stressed that “Greece is in a process of transition to green coastal shipping, with funds from the European Union. We have electric ships in mind and are preparing the market for the cost of this conversion. But what matters now is the survival of Greek coastal shipping. Due to the very high rise in the price of oil, costs have risen sharply. This is the most important impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. That is why we must be very careful with sanctions. They must not harm our economies and our citizens more than the Russians.”

“It is time for everyone, especially in the European Union, to understand that Greek shipping and Greek shipowners can meet Europe’s needs for alternative energy sources. “It’s the best time to re-establish shipping in society as most people do not fully understand its importance,” he said.

In addition, Mr. Plakiotakis praised the importance of maintaining shipping at the top of the world despite the two years of the pandemic, emphasizing that “we have proven that our priority is to ensure the competitiveness of the sector and the high quality of services worldwide. Greek-owned shipping controls 21% of the world tonnage and 59% of European tonnage.”

New plan to strengthen maritime education

In closing, Mr. Plakiotakis also referred to the major issue of lack of crews in shipping in the coming years. “According to a study by the International Maritime Chamber, there will be a large shortage of staff for shipping. The gaps are estimated to reach 96,000 by 2026.” And after expressing interest in helping the Ministry of Shipping and Island Policy in this area, he announced that he is preparing a new plan by the end of the year to strengthen maritime education.

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