Copenhagen: The capital of Denmark this week plays host to a stellar line up of shipping luminaries as the inaugural Danish Maritime Days kicks off.
More than 50 events are planned, and browsing through them the global ambitions of the event become very clear. The challenges of the amount of paper work directed at shipowners; the challenges and opportunities in relation to climate change; the international regulatory framework of the maritime industry; maritime security challenges; and the education of the future global maritime work force are just a fraction of the subjects on the agenda this week.
Danish Maritime Days is a public-private partnership between Danish Maritime (DM), the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) and the Danish Shipowners’ Association (DSA).
The flagship event of Danish Maritime Days is the Danish Maritime Forum. By invitation only, the 200 participants in the forum are carefully selected between the top-level stakeholders of the industry.
In Copenhagen for the week’s events are big names such as Andreas Sohmen-Pao, ceo of BW Group, John Coustas, president and ceo of Danaos Corporation and Kristian Siem, chairman of Siem Capital. From the regulatory side of the industry, the Danish gathering has secured the head of the IMO as well as the chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping among others.
This impressive line up is in no small part down to the event’s secretary general, Flemming Jacobs. Jacobs’s roller deck of contacts is hard to beat given his breadth of experience within shipping. Jacobs started his career in the shipping industry in 1960 when he joined AP Moller. He helped to build up Maersk Line into one of the world’s leading container lines and in 1996 he became a partner of AP Moller. Between 1999 and 2003 he was president and ceo of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines. Nowadays he sits on the boards of many shipping-related businesses as well as proudly spearheading this week’s big maritime show. His latest appointment, revealed today, is to the board of Israeli containerline, ZIM.
“The Danish Maritime Forum brings together around 200 of the most influential stakeholders in the global maritime industry. They will address some of the most important challenges that the industry is facing and how the maritime industry can contribute to human development and well-being,” says Jacobs.
While many in shipping are suffering from event fatigue with there being simply too many conferences and exhibitions these days, Jacobs insists this new Danish summit is genuinely different.
“This is work, not just networking,” he stresses. It is structured similar to the World Economic Forum, he explains.
“The reason is that like the sea, the global maritime industry does not know the concept of country borders,” says Jacobs, adding: “The challenges of the industry are inherently global and the only way to meet them is to come together on a global platform and join forces to finding solutions in unison. That is what attracts participants to Denmark and what will make the Danish Maritime Forum different and special. The aim is not just to listen and network, but to take on big issues and generate tangible outcomes.”
Going forward, the organisers’ ambition is not to become the largest maritime event in the world, but become one to which leaders will come year after year.
The Danish Crown Prince Frederik will open the forum shortly. [06/10/14]