30 Nov 9th Online Members’ Meeting
9th Online Members’ Meeting 2020
On November 30, 2020, the Propeller Club held its 9th Online Members’ Meeting featuring two speakers. Mr. John N. Cotzias, President of the Hellenic Shipbrokers Association, Projects & Finance, Xclusiv Shipbrokers and Mr. Alexandros Costopoulos, Founder & CEO of Foresight Strategies & Communications and Secretary General of the American‐Hellenic Chamber of Commerce.
During the first part of the meeting, Mr. Cotzias gave an interesting presentation on the resilience of shipping markets during the COVID pandemic. He pointed out that the issue of crew changes remains the biggest obstacle for smooth operations and sale and purchase transactions. However, shipping has developed innovative management practices to overcome these obstacles.
Mr. Cotzias remarked that, despite COVID, the freight market in 2020 has shown an overall improvement over the previous year, especially in the container trade.
Finally, he reminded us with statistics that Greek shipping still maintains its position as the world’s largest fleet in 2020, in terms of deadweight tonnage.
During the second part of the meeting, Mr. Costopoulos gave an interesting presentation on the topic: “A post U.S.-elections overview and what comes next”. He shared hi post-election views and stressed the fact that the judicial system of the USA had maintained its values and integrity. Mr. Costopoulos pointed out that although administrations may change in the United States, the governing agenda always has national matters as its first priority. Parameters of Foreign Policy change slowly, with the State Department setting the pace. As a result, we should not expect immediate changes in the status quo.
When asked to comment on the effectiveness of the Greek lobby in the United States, he pointed out that there is a very considerable Greek-American presence entrenched at many levels of the US Administration, ranging from Washington to local state levels. Effectively, this is “the Greek lobby” in the United States of America.
Finally, Mr. Costopoulos pointed out that it is the duty of organizations such as the American‐Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and the International Propeller Club, Port of Piraeus to play their part in further fostering US-Greek relations which are currently at their highest point, as a result of the tireless efforts of the current United States Ambassador to Greece, Mr. Geoffrey R. Pyatt.