Singapore Maritime Week 2024 Opens to Meet Maritime Ambitions

by Admin
smw opening ceremony 2024

The Singapore Maritime Week (SMW), organized by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), returns in its 18th edition with more than 50 events from 15 to 19 April 2024 at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre. Themed “Actions meet Ambition”, SMW is organized around four pillars: decarbonization, digitalization, services, and talent development. More than 10,000 maritime professionals from close to 80 countries, including delegates from governments, port authorities, international organizations, as well as industry experts and thought leaders, are expected to attend SMW. In addition, the inaugural Expo@SMW trade exhibition, taking place from 16 – 18 April 2024 as part of SMW 2024, will showcase maritime solutions by close to 50 companies and startups.

SMW 2024 was launched by Mr. Chee Hong Tat, Singapore’s Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Finance. Speaking at the Opening Ceremony, Mr. Chee highlighted that Maritime Singapore has continued to grow year-on-year – a mark of the industry’s vote of confidence in Singapore, and the strong tripartite relationship between business, workers, and the government. Looking forward, Mr. Chee said that Singapore aims to be a global hub for innovation, reliable and resilient maritime operations, and maritime talent, to better serve the current and future needs of our stakeholders and allow Singapore to contribute to global development and sustainability goals effectively.

High-level Engagement at Singapore Maritime Week 2024

A maritime dialogue was held on the topic of Supply Chain Resilience, Digitalisation, and Decarbonisation. The panel, comprising Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport, Germany, Mr. Even Tronstad Sagebakken, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, Norway, and Mr. Francis Zachariae, Secretary-General, International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), was moderated by Professor Simon Tay, Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs. The panel discussed the challenges the maritime sector faces when dealing with these changes and disruptions, the efforts and measures undertaken by them to prepare the maritime industry and its workforce, and the potential for various stakeholders to work together to address these challenges and capture new opportunities.

Other participants of SMW 2024 include Mr. Arsenio Dominguez, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO); and Mr. Sergio Mujica, Secretary-General of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Speaking at his first maritime event in Singapore since his appointment as the Secretary-General of the IMO in January 2024, Mr. Dominguez delivered a keynote speech at the Singapore Maritime Lecture that was moderated by Ambassador Mary Seet-Cheng, Singapore’s Non-Resident High Commissioner to the Republic of Fiji and Non-Resident Ambassador to the Pacific Islands Forum.

Secretary-General Dominguez emphasized the importance of ensuring seafarer safety and wellbeing, particularly in the light of geopolitical changes impacting shipping, and highlighted his vision for IMO to flourish as a transparent, inclusive, diverse institution. He also noted the rapid green and digital transition unfolding in the maritime sector, driven by the targets set by IMO Member States in the IMO 2023 GHG Strategy. Mr. Dominguez said: “IMO is on track to adopt mid-term measures by late 2025 to cut GHG emissions, to reach net zero targets. Alongside this regulatory work, there is a need to consider issues such as safety, pricing, infrastructural availability to deliver new fuels, lifecycle emissions, supply chain constraints, barriers to adoption and more. Seafarers will require training to be able to operate new technologies as well as zero or near-zero emission powered vessels safely. We need “early movers” in the industry as well as forward-looking policymakers to take the necessary risks and secure the right investments that will stimulate long-term solutions for the sector. In this regard, we welcome the efforts being undertaken by Singapore to facilitate collaboration among maritime stakeholders, including the MPA-led Maritime Energy Training Facility.”

SMW 2024 will also bring together MPA’s Green and Digital Shipping Corridor (GDSC) partners, namely Australia, six ports in Japan, Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach, Port of Rotterdam, and Tianjin, to discuss GDSC initiatives to support IMO’s Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emission reduction targets for international shipping. These include the development and uptake of zero or near-zero GHG emission fuels at scale along corridor routes, technologies to accelerate decarbonization, collaboration to enhance operational and digital efficiencies, as well as updates on key milestones achieved for the Singapore and Port of Rotterdam and the Singapore and Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach GDSCs. Collective Actions to Meet Ambition

Underscoring the importance of collective and collaborative efforts to accelerate the transformation of the maritime industry, MPA will ink several partnerships and agreements with more than 30 partners during SMW 2024 on areas such as training and cybersecurity. These partners comprise international organizations, foreign governments and agencies, classification societies, maritime partners, institutes of higher learning, tech companies, trade associations, and unions. MPA will also be making several announcements related to developments on low-emission maritime energy transition technologies, maritime artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and manpower, over the five-day event.

Building a Maritime Workforce for the Future

MPA and 22 partners, including the leading global marine engine manufacturers, today also signed a Letter of Intent to establish the Maritime Energy Training Facility (METF). The METF, supported by the tripartite maritime community in Singapore, aims to close the skills and competencies gap for the safe operation of new zero or near-zero emission-powered vessels.

To be established as a decentralized network of training facilities based in Singapore, METF will tap on an ecosystem of partners’ assets and training technologies to train the maritime workforce on the safe handling, emergency response, and incident management of future marine fuels such as methanol and ammonia. The establishment of METF follows from a key recommendation put forth by the Tripartite Advisory Panel, which was formed in early 2023 to identify emerging skills and competencies to develop the maritime workforce of the future.

MPA also aims to support and contribute to the work of the Maritime Just Transition Task Force (MJTTF) as one of the institutions rolling out the Baseline Training Framework for Seafarers in Decarbonization – which is under development – through METF. This will directly contribute to the joint IMO-MJTTF work to develop training provisions for seafarers in support of decarbonization of shipping, and complements the IMO’s ongoing comprehensive review of the International Convention and Code on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). Singapore is currently chairing the IMO Working Group on the comprehensive review of the STCW Convention and Code, established in 2023 under the Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping.

With hundreds of crew changes conducted daily in Singapore, METF in Singapore is well placed to deliver cost and time-efficient crew training for vessel operators and ship management companies as part of their crew change arrangements. METF will be progressively developed by 2026 and is expected to benefit more than 10,000 maritime personnel including seafarers from now to the 2030s.

Five New Members Join the Maritime International Advisory Panel

The third Maritime International Advisory Panel meeting, to be convened on April 16, 2024, will discuss how to strengthen the maritime ecosystem and advance maritime digitalization. Five new members will join the IAP this year, including Mr. Ben Palmer, President, Inmarsat Maritime, Mr. Nick Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Lloyd’s Register, Mr. Greg Wilson, Worldwide Public Sector Chief Technology Officer (Government), Microsoft, Mr. Bing Chen, Chief Executive Officer, Seaspan, and Mr. Abhishek Pandey, Managing Director and Global Head, Transportation Finance, Standard Chartered Bank. The new members will bring in new perspectives to enrich the 16-member IAP’s discussions.

Source MPA Singapore