The 23rd Posidonia International Shipping Exhibition held 4-8 June, displayed a positive image of Greece and sent a strong message to the world at large that Greek shipowning remains a strong position despite the downturn in global shipping and economic woes of southern Europe.
“The participation of so many exhibitors at this year’s Posidonia is a vote of confidence to the Greek shipping community and the prospects of the Greek economy at large and it must be interpreted as an optimistic message for all Greek people,” Caretaker Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos said during the opening ceremony of the 23rd Posidonia International Shipping Exhibition.
Posidonia, organized in Greece every two years, changed location this year and moved to the state-ofthe-art Metropolitan Expo Center in Spata and covered a space of 45,000 square meters.
During his speech, Mr. Pikrammenos called upon Greek shipowners to support the country in these difficult times and invest in Greece.
“You have done so in the past, but today, more than ever before, Greece needs new investments, new job opportunities and more liquidity,” he underlined.
Mr. Pikrammenos added that from 2000 to 2011, Greek shipping counted 154 billion euros in maritime trade in Greece. However, 40 percent of the amount was re-exported abroad.
According to reports, Greek shipowners have argued repeatedly that the country lacks the appropriate structures for investments and for funds to remain in Greece.
“The Greek state must support and respect the significant potential of the sector which has established Greece at the summit of the global maritime industry,” the Caretaker PM said.
Mr. Pikrammenos concluded his speech with a reference to the contribution of the cruise sector to the port of Piraeus alone-an annual revenue of some 360 million euros.
During his speech, Caretaker Development, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Yannis Stournaras underlined that Greek shipping’s resilience and global competitiveness could be crucial in the nation’s quest for a viable exit from the economic and social crisis.
He underlined that Greek shipping’s size and contribution to the national economy is significant in job creation and new investments.
“If Greek shipowners congregated the entirety of their business activities in Greece, our nation could create incremental revenues in excess of 26 billion euros—compared to 10 billion euros today,” he said.
He was referring to findings of an unpublished survey conducted by research organization IOBE (Foundation For Economic and Industrial Research).
“Simultaneously, through a raft of direct and indirect business activities that would emerge as a result, unemployment would decline by 35 percent,” he said.
Some 18,000 executives from the Greek and international shipping communities were said to have visited this year’s five-day shipping event that set a new record with some 1,800 exhibitors from 87 countries.
According to Posidonia organizers, the increase was maintained by the stronger participation of traditional shipbuilding nations and engine and equipment exporters that all competed for a “bigger slice” of newbuilding orders placed by Greek shipowners, as well as many companies servicing this global fleet.
Posidonia 2012 not only showcased new technologies, products and services, but also provided a critical insight into the key issues and recent developments that affect world trade and sea transportation.
One of the most important features of this year’s shipping exhibition was the newly launched conference program that provided insight on the challenges currently affecting the maritime industry.
“Posidonia’s success and global appeal sends a strong message to the Greek and international communities that Greece was, is and always will be the homeport of global shipping, which in turn provides the platform for the most important mode of transport for worldwide trade,” Theodore Veniamis, chairman of the Union of Greek Shipowners’, said.
Some Posidonia Participations