Wilbur Ross: Cyprus Can Boost Shipping’s Role In Economy by Paul Tugwell and Georgios Georgiou, Bloomberg

  • Government’s targets are achievable, billionaire investor says
  • Cyprus to be more aggressive in seeking shipping business

Cyprus’s target to increase the contribution that shipping makes to its economy by around two percentage points over the next three years is achievable, U.S. billionaire investor Wilbur Ross said.

The country needs to increase the share of the global fleet managed by companies on the island to 4.8 percent from 4 percent in order to push shipping’s contribution to gross domestic product to around 9 percent from 7 percent, “not such a heavy lift,” said Wilbur Ross, who owns shipping interests and serves as vice chairman of lender Bank of Cyprus. Cyprus has structural and geographical advantages, “they just need to do more promotion,” he said by e-mail.

Revenue from ship management services alone rose to 464 million euros ($506 million), equivalent to 5.4 percent of GDP, in the first half of 2015 from 421 million euros in the second half of 2014, according to the central bank. Ship management companies based on the island include Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement Cyprus Ltd, Columbia Shipmanagement Ltd and Interorient Navigation Co Ltd.

“Cyprus has a strong registry like Malta, but it also has a strong resident industry,” Transport Minister Marios Demetriades said in an interview in Nicosia. The government plans to be more aggressive in attracting new business by strengthening regional offices in shipping centers like New York, Rotterdam and Piraeus, he said.

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Wilbur-ross Cyprus