The third closed discussion held by NAVIGATOR SHIPPING CONSULTANTS, in the framework of the 22nd NAVIGATOR 2023 - THE SHIPPING DECISION MAKERS FORUM, "Master the Change," was successfully organized on the 3rd of October 2023, at the Piraeus Marine Club, with the participation of the three Greek Think Tanks.
Directors of the think tanks DIANEOSIS, ELIAMEP & IOBE added a valuable opportunity for the exchange of knowledge and ideas on issues that concern the global affairs and by extension are inextricably linked to shipping, such as the green transition, geopolitical events, the evolution of the views and value system of Greeks after multiple crises. A total of 100 participants, including Presidents or representatives of Shipping Organizations, along with executives from the maritime community and event sponsors attended this event.
Danae Bezantakou, CEO of Navigator Shipping Consultants, welcomed the participants stressing that “the whole world is in many dilemmas and so is shipping. So, for the first time the presence of the three big Think Tanks of Greece and the exchange of views was very important and interesting”.
Dr. Fay Makantasi, Research Director, of DIANEOSIS, initiated the discussion and mentioned the different studies that DIANEOSIS covers, among other things, the major challenges of the Greek economy, climate change, the blue economy, and tourist ports, and directed the need of a holistic view of the world in an age of interdisciplinarity.
More explicitly, she described the economic challenges and the necessary reforms that need to be made to modernize the country. She pointed out that two important challenges are climate change and demographics and explained in simple terms what climate change means for our country and how it affects key sectors of the Greek economy and society. She also stressed that Greece's population in the future is decreasing according to all demographic projections and is ageing, affecting not only its labor and education policies, social welfare, social security but also its geopolitical strategy and security. An interesting aspect of what she mentioned is that demography is wrongly considered a problem of the last few decades in that no generation has been replaced since 1940, since we are below the 2.1 children per woman of childbearing age, which is the generational replacement threshold. Lastly, she referred to studies carried out by transNEOSIS on the blue economy.
Maria Gavouneli, Director General, ELIAMEP & Professor of International Law, Faculty of Law, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens talked about Greek shipping, as a primary matter of security and the need to have the sea routes, which are dominated by Greek shipping, clearly defined.
Mrs. Gavouneli acknowledged the three major challenges facing shipping today, the implementation of the IMO resolution on shipping emissions; the EU Due Diligence Directive within the wider context of ESG considerations; and the wider discussions on a shipping lane in the Indo-Pacific to counterbalance the Chinese Belt & Road initiative. As she specifically said, these are all questions pertaining to security, and are understood in the widest possible sense, which highlight the essential role shipping has played and will continue to play in the international scene.
Nikos Vettas, the General Director of the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research - IOBE explicitly elaborated how Greek shipping can help in three practical ways the world economy. One is the export of services globally, the second is the integration of technology and the third is the creation of jobs in the country. He mentioned how the world is going through a period of rapid change, and how a specialized knowledge and a direction on how the sectors are interconnected and what the priorities are, is important.
More specifically, Mr. Vettas spoke about the trends in the global economy and the challenges that are expected, as well as how the role of shipping may be affected by them, in particular the slowdown in the growth of European economies, the geopolitical challenges and the effects of the integration of new technologies. He also referred to the domestic economy and the role of shipping in it, based on previous and current special studies by IOBE. Finally, he discussed the dynamics of the Greek economy as it has been shaped by the developments of the last few years, as well as the opportunities that exist in the coming years and the conditions to put it on a path of strong growth in the medium term.
Following the vigorous panel, an energetic discussion was flourished between the participants and the panelists, and issues regarding environmental sustainability, geopolitical and demographic challenges, technological integration, and global economic trends were raised.
The results and final conclusions of these discussions will be presented at the 22nd NAVIGATOR 2023 - THE SHIPPING DECISION MAKERS FORUM, themed “Navigate the Change” on Thursday 9th of November 2023 at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center!