Speech by Mr. Michael Chia, Chairman, Singapore Maritime Foundation, at the Singapore Nite at Nor-Shipping
3 June 2015, 7:00pm
Teatersalen, Level 3, Hotel Continental, Oslo, Norway
Mr. Lui Tuck Yew
Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Defence
Mr. Otto G. Tidemand
Honorary Consul-General of the Republic of Singapore in Norway
Mr. Andrew Tan
Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
Fellow Singaporeans and maritime associates in the Norwegian maritime community,
1. Good evening and a very warm welcome to this Singapore Nite at Nor-Shipping reception. We are happy that we are able once again to organise this reception as part of Nor Shipping. We are honoured and privileged to have Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Transport and Second Minister for Defence, leading the Singapore delegation at Nor-Shipping 2015 and being our Guest-of-Honour for this evening’s reception. Thank you, Minister, for your gracious presence.
2. The Singapore Nite reception has come to be a familiar event for this gathering of the international maritime community here in Oslo once every two years. In fact, the success of this event has also given rise to a reciprocal event organised by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Singapore called Norway Night. The inaugural Norway Night was held just two months back, as part of the Singapore Maritime Week.
3. We believe such events will go a long way to strengthen the business and social ties between the Singapore and Norway. Here this evening, we hope that you will enjoy the warm Singaporean hospitality, including some Singapore food, and take the chance to network with the various parties involved in the Singapore Pavilion at Nor-Shipping 2015. This year, there are a total of 13 exhibitors and it is the fifth time that SMF has worked with our organising partner, the Association of Singapore Marine Industries, to bring our maritime companies together to showcase the maritime services and expertise which Singapore can offer to the world.
4. As you may be aware, 2015 is a significant year for Singapore as we celebrate 50 years of independence, and I think to some of the Singaporeans who are living here in Oslo, this is also a good time for you to celebrate SG50 together with us today.
5. From our humble beginnings as a bustling entrepôt port underpinned by our strategic location. Maritime Singapore is home to one of the world’s busiest container ports with a thriving eco-system of maritime-related services. In all, there are more than 5,000 maritime companies employing over 170,000 people in Singapore. There is also a sizable Norwegian maritime community in Singapore, with many of the over 250 Norwegian companies focused on the maritime and offshore business. The maritime ties between Norway and Singapore have been strong over the past 50 years and will continue to be so, as both countries share a joint vision to develop as leading and technologydriven maritime nations.
6. With globalization, population growth and an increasing demand for resources, the maritime industry will continue to be an important enabler for trade. Singapore seeks to be the gateway to Asia for companies looking to tap on the strong growth potential in this region. To that end, SMF works in partnership with the maritime business community and the Government on various initiatives to develop and grow Singapore as an international maritime centre.
7. One such initiative is the Sea Asia conference and exhibition that SMF started in 2007, and this was started as an international maritime event for the Asia region, in recognition of the rising importance of Asia in world shipping. We are happy to note that this flagship event has resonated well with the international maritime community, having more than doubled the number of participants and tripled the nett exhibition space over a span of five shows. The next edition of Sea Asia will take place in Singapore from 25th to 27th April 2017 and we hope to see you there.
8. The Singapore Ship Sale Form, or SSF, is another SMF initiative. Endorsed by the Federation of ASEAN Shipowners’ Associations, and strongly supported by the Asian Shipowners’ Forum, the SSF features clearly defined clauses that are reflective of current S&P practices. This reduces the number of changes that would need to be made to a standard form, thereby saving time and costs for both seller and buyer. The Form has been gaining momentum since its launch, with more than 200 known S&P transactions to date.
9. To make the Form even more accessible and user-friendly, SMF is currently in the midst of garnering support from the maritime community for the SSF to be listed on BIMCO’s Charter Party Editor IDEA2. The inclusion of the SSF would mean that members of BIMCO would be able to work with the SSF in the same way as other BIMCO forms with the ease of editing and assurance of authenticity.
10. We are happy that a number of BIMCO members, as well as some of the major ship owners, managers and brokers, have signed a petition to show their support that the inclusion of the SSF on BIMCO’s Charter Party Editor would be a welcomed move. I hope that those of you who had not had a chance to show your support can consider to do so by putting down your signatures on the petition form that has been placed at the registration area for your perusal.
11. In fact, this is not the first time that SMF has worked with BIMCO. Earlier on, SMF had worked closely with BIMCO in the proceedings leading up to the acceptance that Singapore would represent the Asia region as a new arbitration seat in BIMCO contracts. This has been a milestone moment signifying the international recognition of Singapore as a key node of the global maritime network. Going forward, SMF together with the stakeholders of the Singapore maritime community will continue to provide thought leadership and further Singapore’s position as an international maritime centre contributing to the sustainability of global shipping.
12. In closing, I would like to thank our sponsors, Keppel Offshore & Marine, MPA, Sembcorp Marine, Thome Group and DNB for their generous support for tonight’s reception. I would also like to thank our Singapore Pavilion exhibitors and supporters, as well as our co-organiser, ASMI, for their continuous support. I hope that this evening’s reception will pave the way for more maritime partnerships between Singapore, Norway and the international maritime community.
13. Thank you all for being present tonight and I wish you all an enjoyable evening.