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, US 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 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, 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.
Nicosia plans to be more aggressive in attracting new business by strengthening regional offices in shipping centers such as New York, Rotterdam and Piraeus, he said.