Vassilis Demetriades has taken the post of the new shipping minister of Cyprus. He has replaced outgoing minister Natasa Pilides, who herself is taking up a new post as the Energy Minister.

In his handover ceremony, Demetriades expressed his happiness at taking over the new role. He explained how it has been a long 22-year-journey since he first entered the premises of what was then the Department of Merchant Shipping (DMS).

He described himself as a bright-eyed employee with great ambitions to grow the shipping sector of the island nation.

He further explained how he, along with the Deputy Ministry will be working as a single unit to work towards the growth of development of the sector.

Shipping has historically been a major part of Cyprus’ economy, and is said to contribute over 7% to the island nation’s GDP.

Prior to his new position, Demetriades serves as a maritime policy expert at the Directorate-General’s office for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission.

Outgoing minister Pilides, who was the first shipping minister of Cyprus, praised Demetriades, saying she was happy to see the junior ministry in the safest hands.