Foreign currency inflows from shipping showed a 17 percent annual increase last year, a trend that is set to continue into 2018 given the improvement in the chartering market, according to the annual report of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS).
The association of owners of oceangoing ships appears mildly optimistic about the sector’s medium-term prospects, although it also highlights the threat of protectionism and possible overregulation.
Currency inflows from shipping services are estimated at 9.14 billion euros in 2017, up 16.91 percent from 2016, when they came to 7.81 billion. Those two years’ takings follow the almost 142 billion euros recorded in the decade from 2006 to 2015, for a total of almost 159 billion.
The recovery of 2017 is of particular significance as its shows the normalization of flows after their major contraction in the second half of 2015 due to the capital controls the government imposed on the local banking system.
The UGS report notes that shipping’s contribution to the country is multiple, stretching beyond the currency inflows, as it also includes indirect financial investments and employment opportunities. “Being a strategic commercial partner of major economic and political forces such as the European Union and the US, Greek shipping strengthens the international prestige of the country,” the report says.