October 30, 2020

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Maritime decision-makers are taking the lead to shape the future of global seaborne trade

Singapore, 31 October 2019; Decarbonization has been at the center of the discussions over the past two days at the Global Maritime Forum’s second Annual Summit in Singapore, where leaders from the entire maritime spectrum have gathered. Difficult questions around zero emission fuels, the role of the financial sector, the question of a carbon levy, and the need to make decarbonization the most competitive option for the future have been core to the discussions.

“To meet international shipping’s decarbonization challenge, the maritime industry needs a carbon levy, it is coming, and we should shape it. We have an opportunity to shape a new maritime future, create a new business opportunity and drive innovation. A maritime green fund could accelerate decarbonization in shipping, support scaling and infrastructure to deliver new fuels, while taking into consideration the impact on trade and developing states,” said Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Chairman, BW Group.

The main contribution of the maritime industry to society is to support global trade, thereby providing economic growth, jobs and access to food and fuels for people all over the world. This is a key focus of the maritime industry, and there is potential to further improve efficiency and reduce waste through collaboration and data sharing.

“We need to digitalize global supply chains to incentivize collaboration in supply chains at sea and on land through digitalization to create efficiency and unlock added economic value. There is an opportunity for broad collaboration and a common language around digital standards and data governance,” said Michael J. White, Head of TradeLens and Chief Executive Officer Maersk GTD, Tradelens.

Improving safety is a top priority of the maritime industry. The safety record of other industries shows that improvements in safety performance are still possible. It will take leadership, collective responsibility and collaboration across the industry to get there.

“Three areas are key to improve the maritime industry’s safety performance. Safety should be the top priority in board rooms; we must improve the well-being of seafarers; and we need to have a common industrywide data base for danger reporting to better understand what is behind incidents. It is our industry, it is our people, and it is our responsibility,” said Grahaeme Henderson, Vice President Shipping and Maritime, Shell.

The maritime industry is a people industry that can only be successful if it is able to attract the right talent. Therefore, attracting people with a diverse set of skills and perspectives to ensure the future success of the industry has been an important topic at the summit.

“To attract the seafarers of the future, we need to see the maritime industry from the perspective of the young and to create awareness and excitement about a maritime career. Young people need to see a clear career path at sea and back to shore,” said Caroline Yang, President, Singapore Shipping Association.

The new ideas for action that have been generated at the Global Maritime Forum’s Annual Summit will now be further developed to shape the future of global seaborne trade to increase sustainable long-term economic development and human wellbeing.

The Global Maritime Forum will publish an in-depth report for the Annual Summit later this year.

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