Singapore: In one of his first interviews since being elected president of the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), Esben Poulsson outlines his priorities at the helm of the powerful body.
Poulsson says he has three immediate priorities. First, he calls for SSA to play an active role and make meaningful contributions to the workings and development of the Tripartite Maritime Manpower Taskforce initiatives for both seafaring and shorebased jobs, spearheaded by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
“We want to create a ‘wow’ factor for the maritime industry amongst the younger generation,” says Poulsson.
Secondly, SSA will support and promote the development of a ‘Singapore Clause’ as an integral part of the Singapore War Risk Mutual. Additionally, SSA will continue to work closely with the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) on promoting the Singapore Sale Form for wider acceptance.
A third plank of his tenure will be to develop the next generation of leaders something Poulsson says is very much part of the ongoing efforts of the SSA and its industry partners in attracting young talent to the shipping industry.
SSA will continue to develop ways to improve Singapore’s ship finance capability across the board, and promoting Singapore’s capital market
“I think shipowners, and indeed all our members, rightfully expect the SSA to offer value for their membership, by providing analysis of industry trends, high quality technical information, regulatory guidance and updates on regional and international issues and not forgetting the educational and networking opportunities that our active calendar of events offer throughout the year,” the SSA president says. The association’s networking events are legendary in shipping circles, often attracting more than 2,000 people at a time.
SSA now has 477 member companies, making it one of the larger national shipping associations in the world. Its membership could swell in the coming months with many anticipating a big Greek shift to the Lion Republic, something Poulsson would welcome.
“A number of Greek owners have already established a presence here,” he says, “and although I do not have any specifics or figures, I think it is well known in Greece, as it is many other countries, that Singapore is a very attractive country from which to operate a shipping business.”
As well as Poulsson’s commitments to the SSA, the Singapore Maritime Foundation, the International Chamber of Shipping, the Asian Shipowners’ Forum and Straits Tankers, the former Torm man is chairman of Enesel Pte Ltd, a Singapore management subsidiary of Athens-based boxship operator Enesel.