March 20, 2019

Cayman Islands Premier meets ship owners in Athens

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GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands – Following on from a very successful visit to to support the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands () at the annual yacht show, The Premier, Hon Alden McLaughlin, accompanied by the Chairman and the of travelled to Athens for meetings with Greek merchant ship owners and movers and shakers in the Greek shipping industry.

This initiative is part of MACI’s plans to increase the number of merchant ships on the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry. The Cayman Islands is one of the top registers for yachts but are outranked in terms of merchant ships flying the Cayman flag – currently we have some 2,008 yachts registered, but only about 203 merchant ships on the register.

On Tuesday the Premier hosted a luncheon for 15 ship-owners and CEO’s of Greek shipping companies. The venue was the historic Piraeus Marine Club in the heart of the Greek shipping community where the Premier and MACI staffs were able to speak directly about the Cayman Islands and the benefits of the Cayman Shipping Registry.

Mr. McLaughlin noted that, “MACI asked me to attend and to personally speak to individuals involved in shipping, including those at the luncheon from traditional Greek shipping families who together control many hundred ships.”

Mr. McLaughlin continued, “Some of the individuals I met do business with us now, but most do not. We cannot substantially grow this sector of the shipping market without accessing Greek shipping. So, I came to Athens to thank first hand those who do business with us, and to say to those who do not that we as a Country and as a Government are committed to the shipping industry, committed to supporting Greek shipping, and we want their business.”

Greek ship owners account for almost 25% of the world’s total merchant shipping fleet and are an important market to tap into if the Cayman Islands are to substantially grow the number of merchant vessels on the Cayman Register. It’s important not only to better diversify the registry business but to also help diversify and grow the business done within the Cayman Islands.

Mr. Philip Barnes, Chairman of MACI commented that “The mere fact that this number of high powered individuals took time out of their busy day to be with us for several hours over lunch is an indication of their interest in the Registry as well as their interest in hearing first hand from the leader of the Cayman Islands”.

Mr. Joel Walton, CEO of MACI, said “I am grateful to the Premier for joining us in Athens. This is important to MACI but it is also important to the Cayman Islands. The individuals who met with us are not only significant players in Greek Shipping, but are also significant in terms of the global shipping industry. When the Premier of the Cayman Islands can say to them that we are committed to shipping and will work hard to get and keep their business, this means something to them. I am hopeful that we will win a lot more merchant shipping business from Greece and today is the start.”

During the course of the week MACI staff and representatives in Athens are meeting one on one with several Greek shipping companies and brokers.

Also attending the lunch was Greek Caymanian Nicky Pappadakis who also addressed his fellow Greeks and spoke warmly about the Cayman Islands and the Caymanian people. The Hon Speaker, Mr. McKeeva Bush also attended as he was in Athens independently visiting his friend Mr. Pappadakis.

Travelling with the Premier is Roy Tatum, Head of the Office of the Premier. Mr McLaughlin and Mr Tatum travel back home on Wednesday 3rd October.

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