Welcome Remarks by Mr. Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Chairman, Singapore Maritime Foundation and BW Group, at the MSC Maritime Careers Workshop 2017
18 August 2017, 3:00pm
Pan Pacific Singapore, Singapore
Ladies and gentlemen,
1. Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us today for the second MSC Maritime Careers Workshop. This year’s edition brings together a diverse audience group which includes undergraduates of all disciplines, along with young working professionals from various fields. The event is organised by the MSC Office – which stands for Maritime Singapore Connect – with support from seven leading maritime companies in Singapore, and it is encouraging to note the great turnout.
2. Some of you may not be familiar with the maritime industry, and may be wondering how you will fit in if you haven’t studied something maritime-related in school. Let me start by saying that the maritime industry has a broad range of jobs covering many different areas, and you don’t need to be a maritime student to find a great job. I studied French, German and History for my A levels, and Chinese studies for university…
3. This afternoon, we hope that you will seize the opportunity to engage with maritime company representatives about career opportunities that Maritime Singapore has to offer, learn more about their hiring decisions and how you can go about your job search.
Maritime Singapore’s Success
4. Why should you consider building your career in the maritime industry? Let me give you three reasons:
- The maritime industry plays a critical role in the modern world, moving 90 percent of world trade. While you may hear a lot about Amazon goods or Uber cars, it is shipping that makes these products and services possible. As shipping advances, there are more and more digital initiatives within the industry, but we haven’t forgotten that humans operate in an analogue world and we can’t yet eat or drive ones and zeros, so in that sense, shipping is a future-proof industry.
- Singapore is number one on a number of maritime dimensions. We are the world’s busiest transhipment hub, handling 30 million container boxes last year. Singapore has also come in first repeatedly in international surveys of the world’s maritime centres. In April this year, we were named the top maritime capital of the world for the third consecutive time in a Norwegian study, and in July, came first for the fourth consecutive time in the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Index.
- More important than these statistics is the fact that this is a fun industry to be in. We work in a sector that is truly global and high-impact, it’s extremely dynamic – sometimes a bit of a rollercoaster but that is what makes it fun – and we are a close knit community. People who join shipping rarely leave once they experience it.
New Developments in Building a Sustainable Maritime Singapore
5. In spite of occasional downturns, the future is also bright because of the many current developments and investments in Maritime Singapore.
6. Some of you may have heard of the Next Generation Port being built in Tuas. It will be the largest container terminal in the world, handling up to 65 million container boxes. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, or MPA, has committed $2.4 billion for works on Tuas Terminal Phase 1 alone. The project will be carried out over four phases, with more investments to come.
7. PSA has set up a “Living Lab” to develop innovative and cutting-edge technologies such as automated vehicles and cranes, and a state-of-the-art command and control centre. MPA has also set up a living lab to encourage new initiatives.
8. The industry is working on plans for growing the existing base of companies while working on technology and talent development – which will create new opportunities for all of you. This is being captured in the strategy work that has been done by the IMC2030 Advisory Committee and the Industry Transformation Map that is being drafted.
Role of Maritime Singapore Connect
9. In short, there are multiple pathways to a rewarding and enriching maritime career, and the MSC Office was established last year to provide you with easy access to maritime education, training and job opportunities. MSC can be your gateway to maritime employers, schools and government agencies.
10. This afternoon, we have invited seven maritime companies to share insights about their business, company culture and job roles. Whether you are here to look for an internship or job, or to learn more about the industry, I hope that we can give you a better understanding of what maritime is all about.
11. By participating in this workshop, you have taken a step in the right direction, and I hope that you will find a rewarding career in this amazing industry.
12. I would like to thank our participating companies for taking part in this workshop – Jurong Port, Maersk Singapore, Pacific Carriers Limited, PACC Offshore Services Holdings, PSA Corporation, QBE Insurance (Singapore) and Western Bulk.
13. We look forward to your continued partnership with SMF and Maritime Singapore to find great talent for the future.
14. Thank you.