Exhibitors Press Releases
UGS President Address at the Posidonia Opening Ceremony

Your Excellency, Prime Minister,
Your Excellency Commissioner (for Transport of the European Commission),
Your Excellencies, Ministers, Representatives of the political parties, Ambassadors, Members of the Parliament,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the summit meeting of world shipping!

Welcome to Posidonia 2022, which after 4 years returns stronger, more up to date and more effective than ever.
I trust that this year’s Posidonia will exceed our expectations, as an international and substantial meeting of business, cooperation and development of our industry.

In the past 4 years, shipping proved once again that it is… all-weather!
In times of peace,
in times of global crisis,
in times of war,
shipping and its people, at all levels of operation, have managed not only to deal with this volatile, critical environment, but also to decisively protect the functioning of the global ecosystem.

From this podium, I want to express my gratitude to our seafarers and their families, who respond, with enormous soul power, to the unprecedented situations we face.

Ladies and gentlemen, figures and data speak for themselves and are indisputable.

Shipping accounts for over 90% of world trade, and over 70% of the European Union's foreign trade.
Thus, our shipping is custodian of the prosperity and well-being of people, states and their economies.
It is a fact that shipping is not just a business.
It is a global, financial, strategic partner.

States, international organizations, decision-making centers, have to take this into account. They have to work closely with the shipping community in order to defend the functioning of the global supply chain and economy.
They have to ensure the smooth living of citizens around the world.

It is also a fact that shipping over time is subject to pressure and responsibilities that do not correspond to its entity.
We, who are in shipping, know that shipping is multidimensional.

We know that its understanding is subject to deep knowledge of its multilevel characteristics. It requires study, high specialization, know-how and years of experience.

For our part, we must therefore reinforce our participation in informing all those involved.
To awaken those in charge and enlighten them with the knowledge of what is really sustainable.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us not turn a blind eye.
It is a top priority that the European, as well as the international regulatory and legislative framework to contribute to the progress and development of shipping and not to create deadlocks.
Universal and feasible solutions are required!

Solutions that will not distort international competition and will not endanger the safety of navigation.
This is the only way to handle the modern challenges of our industry effectively.

At this point, I would like to welcome Commissioner Vălean and to thank her for the very constructive meeting we had this morning at the Union's premises.

The Commissioner is a true friend of European shipping.
We are confident that her contribution to raising the awareness of the European institutions of the strategic role of our shipping in Europe, will be invaluable.
Commissioner Vălean, you are our ally!

Our shipping, more than ever, needs realistic solutions, solutions that will advance our industry in its new era.
And the new era is directly connected to the energy transition.

First of all, I want to emphasize that Greece is distinguished for its consistent and timeless commitment to the evolution of shipping.
Greek shipping is constantly investing in newly built ships and new technologies.

By possessing the advantage of long-term know-how and experience, we have led the developments and we have coped with great foresight and particular success in the challenges of each era. 

The positive environmental footprint of our fleet is established and it is non-negotiable.
Since the time of sails, to the steam and then to the internal combustion engines, the Greek fleet dares, pioneers and invests decisively, over time.
Nowadays, Greek shipowners are also leading the transition to the era of zero-emission shipping. 

Ladies and gentlemen,
As the Union of Greek Shipowners, we are committed that, Greek shipping, the global leader of the industry, will contribute in a decisive way to the adoption of sustainable policies, for the benefit of sustainability.

In this context, we are launching a global informative campaign with a clear, strong, universal message:
"Navigating the Future of Sustainable Shipping".
I invite you to participate as messengers of this initiative.
I call on you to support the need for coordinated activation of all participants in the shipping chain.
We are all indispensable for the forming of the sustainable future of shipping!

Your Excellency, Prime Minister,
Your presence here today is really honoring, and it carries high symbolism for the shipping community.
Greek shipping is a vital sector for the national economy and a strong social partner of the State.
It is a national asset.
It is particularly important that the State realizes this. That it understands the quantitative and qualitative superiority of our shipping and supports us both nationally and internationally.
Our seamanship is our history, it is our culture and we must guard our identity as a maritime nation.
We need to inspire young people to participate in it.
We have to direct it, with vision, respect and national pride to safe waters. 

Your Excellency Prime Minister, 
Thank you for your strong interest and immediacy in supporting Greek shipping.

Ladies and gentlemen,
national asset for us, means national social footprint.
As President of the Union of Greek Shipowners, I will work with all my strength, so that our consistent social impact is recorded as it deserves and maximized as it should be.

Let us all unite,
Shipping, Society and the State
for a better and a more humane future.
Dear friends,
as a proud Greek, I welcome you to the home of the largest fleet on the planet, home to 5,500 ships.

Thank you.