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Economy

At Posidonia, Greece Will Woo Shipping Oligarchs to Go Greek Again

ATHENS – While touting the Posidonia 2024 shipping expo as “the largest celebration of Greek and international shipping,” Maritime Affairs Minister Christos Stylianides said he wants Greece’s shipping oligarchs to register in their own country as most fly Flags of Convenience of other countries, particularly The Marshall Islands, which will have a presence at the June 3-7 event.

Stylianides said the national policy is to attract ships to the national shipping register and shipping businesses to Greece and further the Greek maritime cluster of supporting companies, said the state Athens-Macedonia News Agency.

“We are implementing a long-term network of measures that aim at developing shipping activities and in maintaining the relevant technical know-how within Greece and the European Union,” he said.

He said the ministry’s aim is to increase the contribution of the nearly tax-free shipping sector in the Greek economy, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in 2019 also saying he wanted Greek ships to fly the flag of Greece.

Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee Chairman Harry Fafalios said that Posidonia fair is a global shipping expo showing off the country’s world leading sector embracing technologies while facing challenges from China and Japan.

“The revenues resulting for the Greek economy from the Posidonia shipping fair is expected to exceed 80 million for Greece this year,” Managing Director Theodore Vokos said, with more than 40,000 entities, including exhibitors, visitors, journalists, and foreign visitors.

“We now have 2,030 businesses from 82 countries and 23 national pavilions, while the greatest rise in participation this year is from China, with 180 Chinese companies, 50 percent more since the pandemic period,” he added.

Greece’s shipping oligarchs said the sector still provides critical revenues for the country, a 2023 study showing it amounts to 7.9 percent of the annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in applauding the benefit.

That was according to the prominent think tank the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) which estimated the benefits at some 14.1 billion euros ($15.26 billion) yearly now.

Revenues  – directly or indirectly – by the activity of shipping were estimated at 1.9 billion euros ($2.06 billion) and the sector had the largest share of the Gross Value Added (GVA) of the economy compared to other European Union member-states, at 3.1 percent.

Any discussion of being taxed has led the oligarchs to threaten to move their businesses out of their homeland and has worked to get governments to back off such talk, no indication they’re willing to change that.

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