Enhanced int'l collaboration key to face challenging year for shipping: experts
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 | 00:00
Enhanced international collaboration is the key to face another challenging year for the international shipping industry, participants to the first World Shipping Congress hosted in Athens agreed.
Representatives of some 60 percent of the international fleet, according to the organizers, including Heads of Ship owners' Associations from three continents, along with Greek state officials and industry experts exchanged views on major issues affecting shipping sector, such as the financial crisis and piracy which has increased costs of maritime transportation over the past few years.
"2012 will be a difficult year for international shipping due to the global economic uncertainty and the decline of world trade," said Spyros Polemis, Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping which co-hosted the event with the Greek Development, Competitiveness and Shipping Ministry.
Noting that shipping still carries about 90 percent of world trade, he called on governments and banks to support the industry, expressing optimism towards the future of the sector that employs 1.25 million people worldwide.
Greek government officials and representatives of the Greek shipping industry, which is traditionally a pillar of the country's economy, expressed confidence that promoted reforms, such as the lifting of sabotage laws on non EU-flagged vessel home porting, will help bring about recovery.
Maritime industry experts analyzed the trends in the ports and shipyards sector in Greece and worldwide and the financing prospects, focusing on emerging markets such as China who become increasingly important players in the field.
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