Singapore identifies connectivity, innovation and talent in bid to stay at the top of maritime

Connectivity, innovation and talent are the three key themes Singapore’s leading shipping names want to promote and develop in their vision of this thriving international maritime hub through to 2030.

The International Maritime Centre (IMC) 2030 advisory committee, established by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) 13 months ago , has submitted its IMC 2030 strategic review report to the Singapore government.

The committee, chaired by Andreas Sohmen-Pao, chairman of BW Group, comprises 21 other global business leaders and experts from sectors including maritime, finance, commodities trading, logistics, finance and technology.

Sohmen-Pao commented, “The successful growth of Singapore’s maritime sector over the past decade has been founded on a clear strategy, effective implementation, and strong alignment between the government and the maritime community. These factors are even more relevant at a time where the outlook is less certain and where the emphasis is shifting from physical to virtual flows. Connectivity, innovation and talent are seen as the best ways to remain responsive to changing conditions, and the report provides action-oriented recommendations to be ready for future challenges and opportunities.”

Singapore in recent years has regularly topped multiple maritime hub polls, however both the private and public sectors in the Lion Republic continue to stress that they need to continue to innovate their maritime offering to stay at the top of the pack.

Dr Lam Pin Min, senior minister of state at the ministry of transport and ministry of health, said of the report: “The IMC 2030 advisory committee has issued a clear call for maritime Singapore to take bold steps to strengthen Singapore’s position as a global maritime hub… We will continue to build upon this close partnership between the government and the industry.”

The committee reckons Singapore can further widen and deepen its IMC cluster by harnessing both physical and non-physical trade flows. On innovation the thought leadership team urged closer alignment of public and private sector R&D efforts, while in terms of talent the need for a future-ready workforce with relevant skills and a global mindset was deemed essential.

“As maritime is a global industry, Singapore will need to continue to attract its share of global talent. Greater efforts are also needed to attract more Singaporeans into this industry, which offers many exciting opportunities,” the report noted. Human resources have been regularly cited as the Achilles’ Heel in Singapore’s maritime make-up.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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