13 January 2016, 8:00pm
PARKROYAL on Pickering, Singapore

Mr. Khaw Boon Wan
Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport

Mrs. Josephine Teo
Senior Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Transport

Mr. Pang Kin Keong
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Welcome to this SMF New Year cocktail reception.

Good cocktails are the result of a few different ingredients combined in just the right proportions.

Think of Maritime Singapore. You take a group of super people, which we have here in this room. You add a dash of collegiality, which the maritime industry is famous for. You mix in a business minded regulator like the MPA, and a supportive Transport Ministry. And the result is a magical combination – a maritime community that is capable, collegiate, collaborative.

This is clear to people around the world. I hear it frequently, often with a note of envy. And I doubt any of you need proof.

Where else in the world does one have industry groups that work so well together across the public and private arena? Where else are people so ready to contribute their time to talk to students, or to help fund scholarships? Where else does one get such rapid community-wide support – from local AND international companies – for a Singapore designed contract?

I hope you all agree that such a strong platform should not go to waste. We need to do something with this special formula to create outcomes we can be proud of. And there is no more important time to make use of this formula than when the industry is facing headwinds.

At the Singapore Maritime Foundation, our goals are your goals, and they are simple:

First, to develop the right talent for the maritime industry. This means attracting the best people, giving them the right skills, and helping them to find good jobs. How can you all help with this?

  • You can help by telling students about this exciting industry
  • You can help by continuing your support with scholarships
  • You can help by sharing what type of skills you need and by providing jobs and internships for graduates

This year, SMF is establishing the Maritime Singapore Connect Office as a new initiative to promote maritime careers. We need to ensure that graduates find good jobs, and the new office will work closely with schools, employers, and agencies to make that easier. A new jobs portal will be launched later this year.

SMF will also continue to work with our MaritimeONE partners to attract and develop talent for our industry. We will continue our publicity and promotion efforts, including a short video series later in the year.

The second goal is to keep strengthening the cluster here so that we continue the journey to being the best maritime centre in the world. How can you all help with this?

  • You can help by raising Singapore’s profile in the international community
  • You can help by encouraging your companies to place activities here
  • And you can help by supporting and participating in events like this, sharing ideas, drinking and eating together

What is SMF doing on this front? We have started preparations for the the next Sea Asia in 2017. In April this year we have Singapore Maritime Week and the Offshore Maritime Forum. We will be leading a delegation to Posidonia, and promoting the Singapore Ship Sale Form, which is now available on BIMCO’s Charter Party editing system. The list of initiatives is too long to cover here, but suffice it to say we will be working hard on your behalf, and we hope you will support us.

At this point I would like to recognise the hard work of the board and in particular our sincere thanks to outgoing board members Mr Michael Chia, past Chairman, Mr Goh Teik Poh, Mr Patrick Phoon and Mr Wong Weng Sun. Thank you all for your efforts. And a warm welcome to our four new SMF board members Lisa Teo, YY Chow, PK Ong, and Loo Tze Kian.

In summary, the Singapore Maritime Foundation is here to serve as a platform to improve our maritime community. Like all platforms, it is only as good as the participation of its constituents. We know that current markets are tough, but it’s in times like these that we can really make a difference, and we need your help in the year ahead to take the magic formula and turn it into a maritime talent pool and a business cluster to rival all others.

Thank you for coming, thank you for your help, and have a wonderful 2016.