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Maritime Boss addresses Greek shipping community

-As Liberia, China renew cooperative maritime agreement

The Government of Liberia has the support of the Greek shipping community to the Liberian Registry.

Posidonia, Greece, June 6, 2024—The Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Cllr. Neto Zarzat Lighe, Sr., says the support of the Greek shipping community has been instrumental in the growth of the Liberian Registry and has also contributed to vital local development in Liberia.

Commissioner Lighe notes that much-needed resources derived from the Registry continue to directly impact Liberia, pointing out that one notable example is the Registry’s establishment of the Liberian Maritime Training Institute.

Speaking on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, at the 75th anniversary of the Liberian Registry with the Greek Shipping Community in Posidonia, Greece, Cllr. Lighe describes the occasion as of great significance to the Liberian flag that has been flown across the vast oceans for the last 75 years by vessels delivering essential goods across the world, adding, “It is important on such an occasion to reflect on the enduring relationship between the Republic of Liberia and the Greek Shipping Community, a relationship that provided the strong foundation on which the Liberian Registry currently stands.”

He recalls that the Liberian Registry was founded in partnership with Greece’s rich maritime history, beginning with the first Liberian-flagged vessel, Stavros Niarchos’s “World Peace.” Today, Liberia is not only one of the largest registries among Greek shipowners, but it is also the most trusted, boasting a legacy of upholding the highest standards of safety, security, and environmental protection.

“This historical accomplishment of Greek shippers is also part of Liberia’s maritime history, as we share in your success,” he adds.

He says the Liberian Maritime Training Institute provides world-class maritime education to Liberian youth and facilitates job placement for the career advancement of graduates, stressing that Liberia is incredibly proud of this relationship that is contributing positively to the local economy and growth potential.

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The Liberian Maritime Boss also notes that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia remains a steadfast partner of the Registry. The Liberian government, under the leadership of the Ministry of Affairs and the Liberia Maritime Authority, is committed to assisting the Registry and its shipowners and partners with the many global challenges that confront today’s realities.

“Whether they be the continued promotion of the principle of freedom of navigation or assisting with specific vessel security incidents, we will continue to be engaged in safeguarding the interests of Liberian-flagged vessels.”

At the same time, Commissioner Lighe reveals that the Republic of Liberia and the People’s Republic of China are in the final stages of renewing their cooperative maritime agreement.

He says this agreement has been and will continue to be an important source of cost savings for shipowners. It is expected to be finalized in the coming days.

“As we continue to confront the wind of change thrust upon us by the complex global political events in the Middle East and other areas of the world, it is important that we build strong relationships between the Registry and shipowners,” Cllr. Lighe notes.

He underscores that such collaboration is meant to foster the shared values of safety, security, and environmental protection and that such a relationship will provide an easy avenue for open communication and collaboration in addressing issues affecting the safety and security of Liberian-flagged vessels.

“Most importantly, it will lead to the Registry exploring opportunities to employ more trained sea fearers and seamen onboard Liberian-flagged vessels. Through the Liberian Ship Owners Council based in Greece, this relationship can be more prosperous and benefit the mutual interests of the Registry and the many ship owners that comprised the council.”

Meanwhile, he emphasizes that the values that underpin the Liberian Registry – the firm commitment to safety, security, and environmental protection will be at the heart of Liberia’s interaction with partners and stakeholders in the maritime industry, saying, “Our commitment to international maritime conventions and instruments, international security, combatting of terrorism and other crimes at sea, and fighting the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances remain firm.” 

He adds that while the Liberian Registry stresses its commitment to upholding values, the country urges all ship owners to remain committed to the shared values that have marked shared interaction over the years, as the Liberian Registry must remain at the forefront of the global maritime industry through the continued improvement of its services and the upgrading of its capacity to respond not only to the current trends but also to the emerging needs and demands of the industry.

“I have not an ounce of doubt that the Registry will remain a vibrant and dynamic force in the maritime industry in the many years to come,” Cllr. Lighe concludes. Story by Jonathan Browne

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