Premier adds lunch in Athens to Euro trip

| 02/10/2018 | 16 Comments
Cayman News Service

Piraeus Marine Club, Athens

(CNS): After rubbing shoulders with European royalty in the playground of the rich and famous in Monaco, the premier lunched with Greek shipping magnates, having added Athens to his European trip this week. According to a press release from his office, Premier Alden McLaughlin, along with officials from the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands, travelled on to Greece from Monaco to continue promoting the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry, where they joined House Speaker McKeeva Bush, who happened to be in the Greek capital visiting a friend.

The release said that the Athens addition to the trip, where McLaughlin, accompanied by MACI Chairman Philip Barnes, the authority’s CEO Joel Walton and MACI staff, met with “merchant ship owners and movers and shakers in the Greek shipping industry”, was a follow-on from the Monaco boat show.

“This initiative is part of MACI’s plans to increase the number of merchant ships on the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry,” the premier’s office stated to justify the trip. The Cayman Islands is one of the top registers for yachts but has only about 203 merchant ships on the register.

Officials said that on Tuesday the premier hosted a luncheon for 15 ship owners and CEOs of Greek shipping companies at the historic Piraeus Marine Club in the heart of the Greek shipping community, where the premier and MACI staff spoke directly about the Cayman Islands and the benefits of the Cayman Shipping Registry.

McLaughlin said that MACI had asked him to attend and speak to individuals involved in shipping, including those at the luncheon from traditional Greek shipping families, who together control many hundred ships.

“Some of the individuals I met do business with us now, but most do not,” he said. “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.”

The release stated that Greek ship owners account for almost 25% of the world’s total merchant shipping fleet and are an important market to tap into if Cayman is to substantially grow the number of merchant vessels on its shipping 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,” officials said.

Barnes said the number of guests was significant. “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.”

Walton said he was grateful to the premier for joining the team in Athens because it was important to the maritime authority and 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,” he said in the release. “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.”

Also attending the lunch were Bush and the friend he was visiting, Greek-Caymanian Nicky Pappadakis, who also spoke at the event.

Following the stop in Athens, the premier and his assistant, Roy Tatum, will be travelling back to the Cayman Islands tomorrow, Wednesday 3 October. The MACI team will remain in Athens to meet one-on-one with several Greek shipping companies and brokers during the course of this week.

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Category: Business, Shipping

Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Wouldn’t it be great to see the island to achieve its full potential on the global stage, to be proud? The on-line comments I’ve read about the efforts of elected leaders are generally cynical not supportive. How do you expect to remain a global player without members of the government leaving the island …. business development may include going to seemingly exotic places, attending functions but those who do it know that they would be prefer to at home with friends and family – it can be hard work, lonely and tiresome, certainly not a ‘jolly’; give them a break and the respect they deserve… if you don’t tell people you are open for business they will go elsewhere.

  2. All Muppets on vacation in Greece says:

    What a load of hogwash by you government mouthpieces Greece is Broke the ship owners are not they have the largest shipping fleet yes and have been buying up mostly second hand vessels However they are having financing trouble with private banks because they know shipping not banking and have survive in that industry for that reason. The Greek shipping families know shipping cycles really well that is why all their ships are all registered in Liberia So pleeeease stop talking pure foolishness. All this is just another jaunt wasting our money by Alden and his side kick Bababuskya Thank Mr Pappadakis for his contribution to our shipping registry and come home stop wasting our money you bunch of jokers 8:56am the trouble is it never is!

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    • Anonymous says:

      2:38am the Greeks would love to have fools like you speaking this way in the Shipping market but any “real” shipping person that would dare believe you, would do so at their own peril!

      Muppet numbnut just climb back in your island cocoon.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I have always heard about this rare species called an educated fool but never encountered one. But today my friend, I have, you are the rare species!! You’re comment makes absolutely no sense.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Maybe this boondoggle will bring in some extra money to fund the 800% budget fudge-up at the dump…..and every other fudging thing the Cayman pirate government miss manages for their own personal gain.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    While working here on island for an offshore company that had clients with yachts registered on island I liaise with company official and clients and I got to understand that attending one of their boat shows and meet and greet was a grand event. I think it was fitting that the Premier and MACI personnel attend. From experience I know that the Cayman Islands is a choice destination for registering their vessels and it brings in a nice paycheck as well. These are the kind of clients we need to attract. I think it was money well spent providing they did not go overboard ( no pun intended).

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  5. Anonymous says:

    I respect the media’s responsibility to keep Government in check and be a reporting voice for areas that would benefit or be a detriment to the public.

    However, coming from a private enterprise background that works to increase revenues in their desired market, I’m not sure I understand why the tone of this article is written to paint a bad situation. The Cayman Islands has ZERO exportable or marketable natural resources (the backbone of the every economy), other that a deteriorating tourism product.
    The livelihood of everyone in this jurisdiction (including the editors of this publication) is dependent on the wealthy individuals and businesses of the world to do business with this jurisdiction in various manners. If the Cayman islands does not rub shoulders with the wealthy at these engagements, you can guarantee that the competing jurisdictions would be doing it and siphoning business away, at which point, then the media would be criticizing the Government for dropping the ball on it’s responsibilities.

    There are some things worth engaging as the media. Then there are items such as this.

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  6. say it like it is says:

    Let us see how many Greek merchant ships register in Cayman in the next 12 months. Let us also see how much the MACI team (Chairman, CEO, and other un-named and unquantified “staff”) have spent on their latest trip to Monaco and Athens.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    People, this is how you get business. You give something (your valuable time) and you get something (an opportunity to market yourself). CNS, I don’t know why you’ve gone with the tabloid tone to this article; it’s unwarranted. This is what McKeeva used to say he was doing, travelling to develop the economy, only he was not transparent, did not bring civil servants with him, travelled at maximum expense, and brought no bacon home. All we have to do when it comes to these trips is judge the results. Last time I checked we wanted to attract wealth to Cayman any way possible so we can get some of it. So our head of government should not be shamed for meeting with wealthy people, no matter where the meeting takes place. Also bear in mind it has been 17 months since the election and the government has had all of that time to set domestic priorities on the intended path. Policy has been decided and civil servants are at work implementing it. That leaves time to look abroad and target specific areas for growth and opportunity. This is a good thing. Keep it up.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Hope McKeeva’s trip was self funded.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Glad to hear the Premier attended. That kind of presence goes a long way in getting a deal done. Continued success to Walton, Barnes and team for continuing to grow the business.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Awesome. To get business, you have to show you are open for business. I know the tone of the article is anti Alden, but you aren’t going to get new business by sitting on your A**. Good on him for being pro-active.

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    • Anonymous says:

      There will always be another reason to be out of Cayman, another potential way to expand business
      With leaders as out of touch as the PPM led coalition
      Its hard to see this as a positive
      Its not like they are courting businesses to raise revenues and in tandem reducing the fees here at home they will go out of their way to suck up to foreigners and outside business interests meanwhile here wages have been stagnant for decades, and the minimum wage is a measly 6.25

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    • Anonymous says:

      We, the Cayman competitors really like and enjoy your articles – please keep them coming.

      Muppets!

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    • SJames says:

      ‘Happened to be visiting a friend’. What a coincidence Mr Bush. I see a red ensign here if folks get my meaning.

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