Speech by Mr. Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Chairman, Singapore Maritime Foundation, at Singapore Nite @ Nor-Shipping
5 June 2019, 7:00pm
Olympia Ballroom, Radisson Blue Plaza Hotel, Oslo
Dr Lam Pin Min, Singapore Senior Minister of State for Transport
Mr. Chairman and Madam Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore,
Distinguished guests from Norway, Singapore and around the world,
1. A warm welcome to Singapore Nite at Nor-Shipping. Thank you for joining us – I know there is a lot of competition this evening, with multiple parties happening at the same time.
2. In the face of competition, it is best to be short, so I will be.
3. Singapore is home for me, but I have been coming to Norway for 20 years, and there was an extended period where I came here every month, so this feels a bit like home too.
4. I know some special corners of Oslo and Norway. I have also gotten to know the Norwegian maritime community, and continue to be impressed with the calibre of shipping knowledge, with the business acumen and the innovation here. Norway has an extraordinary cluster when you consider the number of world-leading maritime institutions, from broking to shipowning, from Class to insurance, from technology to finance.
5. Singapore has an excellent cluster too, with a breadth that spans all maritime services, a strong port and a supportive government. We are grateful to all of you who have supported Singapore as a place for your operations, and hope that you will all continue to build your presence there.
6. If you put all the qualities of the Norwegian and Singapore maritime hubs together, that is a formidable force. And it is great to see how much collaboration already happens between the two countries.
7. This evening celebrates the close and enduring ties between Singapore and Norway: the research and thought leadership, the shared commitments at the governmental level, the vibrant commercial activity between the two centres. I gather Singapore represents one of the highest concentrations of Norwegians in any city outside of Norway.
8. Recent maritime initiatives are a testament to this strong relationship, such as the NorwaySingapore Maritime Digitalisation and Transformation Seminar held in Singapore earlier this year, and the renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Research Council of Norway and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore to further develop R&D in areas such as sustainable energy and maritime operations.
9. Singapore Nite is a special opportunity to get together and exchange ideas, and it is also an opportunity to get a taste of Singapore’s great dishes here in Norway, prepared by chefs that have flown in for the occasion. I’d like to express my gratitude to the SMF team that put this together, and to the main sponsors, MPA, Keppel Offshore & Marine and Sembcorp Marine, and supporting sponsor, Thome Ship Management. 10.I wish you an enjoyable evening ahead. Thank you.