Singapore shipping head responds to UK counterpart’s attack

The head of the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) has hit back at claims by his counterpart in the UK that the Southeast Asian nation panders to shipping lines.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph newspaper earlier this week, Guy Platten, the CEO of the UK Chamber of Shipping, slammed Singapore for “pandering” to businesses.

Esben Poulsson, president of the SSA, responded, telling Splash he took issue with this assertion.

“Singapore has created a global hub through a far sighted, long-term strategic approach, with great care being taken not to move the goal posts in terms of rules and regulations,” the SSA boss said, citing financial transparency, business friendly policies, the reduction of red tape, and a “liberal” use of the latest technology, as contributing factors in Singapore’s success.

Singapore has repeatedly topped multiple shipping centre polls in recent years. Nevertheless, the head of the SSA remains adamant that the Asian republic cannot rest on its laurels, telling Splash: “We are well aware that there remains a very healthy level of competition from many maritime centres which we welcome – competition improves standards and in a number of areas, we certainly recognize and acknowledge that London is in pole position.”

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.


  1. I’ll declare an interest: I’ve known , and liked, Esben Poullson for an absurdly long time.

    I’ve never known him to talk anything but sense, and he’s talking sense here.

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