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Senior maritime officials meet at Singapore's inaugural Maritime Administrators Forum

Maritime Administrators call for closer dialogue and collaboration to tackle a more challenging environment.

SINGAPORE'S inaugural Maritime Administrators Forum drew close to 50 participants from Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America.

The forum, convened by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) under the auspices of the Singapore Maritime Week, facilitated the exchange of best practices and ideas, which provided the basis for future discussions at the regional and international levels in support of the International Maritime Organisation's (IMO) efforts in promoting safe, efficient and sustainable shipping.

"Many maritime administrations were in the process of formulating or reviewing their national maritime policies and developing new measures and capabilities to tackle the challenges (stemming from an increasingly operating environment) more effectively (as well as) ensure the effective implementation of IMO regulations," MPA's chief executive Andrew Tan observed.

Participating senior maritime officials, while reiterating the indispensable role of shipping to the world, noted flagged challenges from economic volatility, rapid technological change and new international regulations on safety and the environment.

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Mr Tan also noted four key needs identified by the maritime administrations. These are:

- the need for a more integrated approach towards the development of maritime policies;

- the need to better engage their stakeholders and forge stronger partnerships with the industry, regional and international organisations;

- the need for greater capacity-building at all levels as the demand for manpower, new skills and expertise is immense;

- the need to address emerging concepts such as the Blue Economy and sustainable ocean governance.

IMO's deputy director or head of programme management, Juvenal Shiundu, said: "IMO supports more of such dialogues to promote partnerships, the exchange of ideas and networking among maritime administrations and it helps foster closer collaboration in the implementation of IMO instruments."