The 13th Annual Capital Link Greek Shipping Forum- Stay Calm and Sail On

ATHENS – The 13th Annual Capital Link Greek Shipping Forum was held with great success and significant attendance at the Divani Caravel Hotel in Athens on February 9, in cooperation with the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. The Lead Sponsor was Bank of Communications Financial Leasing.

With attendance exceeding 800 people, the 13th Annual Capital Link Greek Shipping Forum entitled “Stay Calm and Sail On” featured the heads of international shipping institutions as well as the leaders of important economic organizations in Greek and international shipping, and for this reason the forum was rightly labeled as an unofficial Summit of Global Shipping. The significant topics and pressing issues discussed at the forum include the current lack of seafarers, decarbonization, and digitalization, among others.

Capital Link’s 13th Annual Greek Shipping Forum discussed the industry’s main trends and challenges, as well as the opportunities that lie ahead and strategies to compete in an increasingly complex and demanding world. The forum’s distinguished speakers discussed and debated the most pressing issues in shipping, such as geopolitics, energy security, increasing regulation, deglobalization, a slowing world economy, higher interest rates, and the easing covid restrictions in China.

Greek Minister of Environment & Energy Konstantinos Skrekas at the 13th Annual Capital Link Greek Shipping Forum in Athens. (Photo: Capital Link)

The institutional leadership of global shipping, specifically the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the heads of four global industry associations: BIMCO, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO and the International Chamber of Shipping, high level representatives from the European Union, the President of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations, as well as the President of the Union of Greek Shipowners, the Greek Ministers of Shipping and Energy, and representatives from the U.S. Department of the Treasury all attended the forum.

The energy crisis has impacted all sectors across the world, and its lasting affects are some of the most significant topics today. Coupled with pressing topics such as climate change and decarbonization, as well as countless geopolitical factors, the issue of energy security is complex and plays an important role in all our lives. Expanding upon this vital topic of energy, Greek Minister of Environment & Energy Konstantinos Skrekas, the, presented his Keynote Speech at the 13th Annual Capital Link Greek Shipping Forum.

The 13th Annual Capital Link Greek Shipping Forum was held with great success and significant attendance at the Divani Caravel Hotel in Athens on February 9. (Photo: Capital Link)
Melina Travlos, President of the Union of Greek Shipowners. (Photo: Capital Link)

He said: “It is true that our government, the Kyriakos Mitsotakis government, has safely been navigating unchartered waters, accelerating the green transition and fostering energy security in disruptive times. Shipping has been a key enabler of our energy security.”

“We are committed to directing 200 million euros for cold ironing and e-mobility in our ports,” Skrekas continued. “We support LNG bunkering and pilots for alternative fuels, including a fuel-cells ferry, integrated to a hydrogen valley around a refinery, as well as an EV-ferry for short distances and, we are proud that cutting-edge, naval research is being carried out in Greece. For example, the design of a large vessel, transferring liquid hydrogen, will shortly commence in Athens.”

“To conclude, with the right policies, the shipping sector can evolve into a catalyst for the green transition, stimulating demand and supply of renewable fuels, new infrastructure, and links between hydrogen consumption centers and regions with low-cost production,” Skrekas said. As the French author Andre Gide noted: ‘You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.’ Working together we can shape these creative and innovative solutions, to safeguard a sustainable future for our citizens and for future generations.”

Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy Ioannis Plakiotakis participated at a roundtable discussion with Kitack Lim, Secretary General of International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Greek Minister of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy Ioannis Plakiotakis and Kitack Lim, Secretary General of International Maritime Organization. (Photo: Capital Link)

Plakiotakis stated in his speech: “We live in challenging times, there is no doubt about that. The pandemic and more recently the Russian invasion have rescheduled our priorities due to intense uncertainties. The first thing we need to preserve in this path towards recovery is sustainable development. The main challenges for that include decarbonization, digitalization, cyber security issues, and, lastly, the greatest challenge of all in my opinion: the shortage of qualified personnel. We politicians need to cooperate at the level of the IMO and at the multilateral level. International activities need international rules and regulations, while ensuring the protection of the sector’s competitiveness.”

He continued: “Greece is an advocate for adaptation. We fully support the implementation of the IMO’s strategy to reduce greenhouse emissions. I’ve stated many times that to fulfill our goals, we must ensure global availability of alternative fuels, and there’s a lot more work to be done on that front. It will be crucial to make things more predictable, to facilitate investing in the future.”

Plakiotakis said: “The progress we’ve witnessed on shipping safety is considerable. The number of vessel casualties has declined while the global fleet has grown. Now, the challenge lies in incorporating new technologies without overlooking the primordial importance of safety.”

More information available online: https://forums.capitallink.com/shipping/2023greece/.


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