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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Singapore celebrates World Maritime Day with parallel event

As part of a week-long series of marine events (25-29 September 2006), Singapore celebrated World Maritime Day on 25 September with a forum on 'Shipping for Growth and Development' and an evening reception. This was the second such parallel event (Lisbon hosted the first in 2005), which was introduced to provide an opportunity for World Maritime Day to be marked by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) over and above its traditional celebration in London.


The forum was chaired by the Chairman of the IMO Council, Johan Franson of Sweden, with opening remarks by BG(NS) Choi Shing Kwok, Permanent Secretary of Singapore’s Ministry of Transport and David Edwards, IMO’s Director of the Technical Cooperation Division. Others speaking as representatives of the IMO were Igor Ponamarev, Chairman of the Maritime Safety Committee and Owusu-Mensah, Chairman of the Technical Cooperation Committee. Government speakers were Vice Admiral Martinez Villarroel from Chile and BG(NS) Tay Lim Heng from Singapore, while industry was represented by Teo Siong Seng, President of the Singapore Shipping Association and INTERTANKO’s MD Dr. Peter Swift.


In his presentation, 'Striving for zero!' - the role of regulation and self-regulation in industry’s drive to continuous improvement in safety and environmental performance, Swift spoke of the dependency on shipping of world trade and of the success of the world’s economies. He said that safe, reliable and efficient (i.e. cost effective) shipping is the common goal of industry and society, and gave examples of the industry’s record of continuous improvement. He suggested that the industry’s vastly improved record has been achieved through a combination of international regulation and industry self-regulation.


The responsible industry, he said, needs legislation and regulation to be effective, i.e. fit for purpose, and global in its effect. However, he maintained that much of the improvement is due to self-regulation, based on “best practice”, to which industry is totally committed. In his presentation (click here to view) he gave several examples – principally in the tanker world – of industry’s initiatives and programmes as well as industry’s extensive input into international regulation.


In the final session, Julian Bray, Editor of Lloyd’s List, spoke on the 'Image and Profile of Shipping', citing the commitment of tanker owners to quality and their willingness to engage with politicians, regulators, the media and the press, as having made a very positive contribution to a fast improving image of this particular sector.


At the evening reception Raymond Lim, Singapore’s Minister of Transport, spoke of Singapore’s support for the IMO and the important role the country had in a wide spectrum of maritime industries, ranging from all types of shipping, shipbuilding and ship repair to bunkering and other sectors.


Contact: Peter Swift