Steering a sector that never sleeps
The shipping sector which has proved to be a bastion of strength even through times of crisis, is sailing through waters with a newly formed structure under the flagship of the deputy shipping ministry, headed by Natasa Pilides. Andria Kades meets her
The Cyprus shipping industry, which contributes around seven per cent of GDP, acquired its own deputy ministry in March 2018 but a year and half later, its chief Natasa Pilides (L) said there is a long road ahead. With the aim of bringing all relevant government services in one place and giving the sector a unified voice, she said the task hasn’t been intimidating but rather “very positive. There’s difficulties in every new thing you try to do”.
Located in the heart of Cyprus’ shipping industry in Limassol, it is the only ministry – deputy or otherwise – to be located away from the capital. Though a government department, it operates differently than most. “We have 24/7 service which is tried and tested and is very much improved compared to before. We offer technical support, there’s mobile phone numbers available on our website that clients can use to reach us at anytime, day or night. It’s crucial to operate on those terms in the shipping industry because clients never sleep and neither should we.”