Tsipras opened Posidonia 50th edition
The great opening ceremony in Athens was attended by IMO Secretary Kitack Lim and by EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulk, while the first parties are already starting
Athens – Posidonia celebrated its 50th anniversary, with its official ceremony opened by the right-wing politician Alexis Tsipiras, leading Greece since 2014.
At the Athens Metropolitan Expo, the Greek prime minister welcomed 2,010 expositors from 92 countries, 22,000 representatives and 1,500 VIP guests, as well as local and EU political institutions, pointing out that the Greek fleet covers 20% of the world's tonnage and 50% of the European one, contributing 9 billion euro to the economic balance in 2017, with a 20% increase compared to 2016.
Tsipiras publicly undertook to support the shipping sector and the investments made by selected strategic partners in ports such as the “Chinese” Piraeus hub, leaving the floor to the International Maritime Organization Secretary General Kitack Lim.
The latter warned about the possible boomerang effect of innovations on shipping: “We must ensure that the opportunities granted by digitalization, artificial intelligence and the so called 'fourth industrial revolution' are carefully integrated in maritime transport, balancing benefits against the concerns related to safety, environmental impact, international trade and the human element. Greece is one of the most influential IMO member States, and it constantly contributed to the development of all the aspects of the IMO's work in its policies and technical issues. I would like to express my appreciation to the Greek government and to the local maritime sector for their committed participation and support”.
In turn, EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc added: “We are responsible for granting that the maritime sector remains safe, sustainable and competitive, providing many jobs, both on board and ashore. The EU is your partner and I hope that we will keep on working together. I am sure that Greece's long maritime tradition and its wide range of skills will be a valuable resource for our joint efforts to help the maritime sector prospering”.
“Once again, Posidonia emphasises the essential role and the multidimensional importance of shipping for the welfare of all nations, attesting also that our sector is the foundation for the development and growth of the wider maritime cluster. This must be acknowledged by society and lawgivers alike because shipping is often held disproportionately responsible for compliance with environmental standards compared to other industries. This is mainly due to the general awareness and understanding of its characteristics and of the services that it provides to citizens worldwide. However, EU leaders should not take some factors for granted; without a competitive commercial environment, shipping as an international economic activity cannot survive, nor make progress. The European Union must ensure that the maritime sector remains competitive, thus sustainable. This can be achieved through a strategic planning based on measures that support the international characteristics of the sector, thus allowing to take advantage of the great benefits of this entrepreneurial and productive pillar of the EU economy”, Union of Greek Shipowners President Theodore Veniamis observed.
Meanwhile, the numerous Italian shipping professionals seized the opportunity to visit customers and suppliers, to find new business and networking possibilities and to start market negotiations, also on luxury yachts.
The official parties started on the very first evening, with two Italian brokerage companies at the top: Banchero costa invited a selected group of customers and friends at the Ark Terrace Restaurant of Glyfada, while Ifchor – that just opened a new branch office in Seattle – gathered some 400 guests from all over the world to the Margi Hotel of Vouliagmeni.