Owners should look to increasing quality as a way of moving out of the current recession, according to Efthimios Mitropoulos, the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation.
The current financial difficulties should not lead to a lowering of standards in shipping but owners should look to increasing quality as a way of moving out of the current recession, according to the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Addressing delegates on the opening day of the Maritime Cyprus 2009 conference, Efthimios Mitropoulos said owners should not consider ?skimping on issues such as vessel maintenance but let quality and not price become the prime differentiator in driving business forward?.
If companies employ this strategy, they will be in a better position to prosper when the economic situation improves, he said.
In the same vein, seafarers should not become victims of abandonment, he warned.
Apart from the financial crisis, shipping has to deal with several other worrying issues such as the escalation of piracy and the manning shortage and the need for the industry to reduce its carbon footprint, he told delegates:
?Piracy is becoming increasingly problematic especially off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. What makes the situation more worrying is that pirates are extending frequently beyond the horn of Africa. The UN and IMO have worked together to tackle the issue; the fact that navies from countries as far apart as China, Japan, and the republic of Korea, Can, US, Norway, Russian Federation, and Sweden as well as Australia, India and the Islamic Republic of Iran are involved speaks volumes about how strongly the international community feels about the problem. The problem is political and lies on land rather than sea,? he said.