The UK Chamber of Shipping has published the results of a survey of 149 global shipping and maritime industry professionals’ attitudes to towards the UK, timed to coincide with London International Shipping Week.
The survey found that industry leaders were split down the middle when asked if they felt that the UK’s membership of the European Union was important to their business (48% answered important, 51% combined neither, not very and irrelevant). 65% did however believe that the EU has a positive impact on the shipping industry globally, but concerns were revealed over the impact of EU regulation causing asymmetry in competitive conditions for businesses operating at a global level.
Over 70% of those surveyed felt that the UK was a globally competitive place to do business. The availability of a comprehensive maritime cluster, a key factor for those surveyed in deciding where to base their business, political stability and geographic location all contributed to the perception of the UK as a competitive home for maritime businesses. 55% of those surveyed felt that the UK was the world’s leading maritime centre, with Singapore coming a close second
UK Chamber of Shipping CEO Guy Platten commented: “If the European Commission truly believes in competiveness, it must understand that in an industry where global regulation exists, too much regional regulation is asking for trouble.”
Platten demanded that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency be reformed to make UK shipping more competitive.
“To attract new business, more ships on the UK register and more companies basing themselves here, the MCA must become more commercially aware, customer focused and understanding of demands of global shipping companies,” he said.