Singapore Maritime Foundation Marks 20 Years of Building Strong Public-Private Partnership at the SMF New Year Conversations 2024

January 12, 2024

Singapore, 12 January 2024 — The Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) today marked 20 years of building strong public-private partnership at the SMF New Year Conversations 2024 held at Pan Pacific Singapore.

Mr. Chee Hong Tat, Acting Minister for Transport, graced the event as the Guest-of-Honour and addressed 280 industry leaders representing the diverse segments of Singapore’s maritime ecosystem.

Building on Strong Foundation to Advance Maritime Singapore

Building on the strong foundation established over the past two decades, SMF continues to expand its programmes and intensify efforts to promote Singapore as an international maritime center and to develop a talent pipeline to meet the evolving needs of the industry as transformation gathers pace.

On the talent development front, a record 60 MaritimeONE Scholarships were awarded in 2023 by SMF and 31 partners from industry, foundations, and unions. Since its inception in 2007, SMF and its partners have awarded close to 600 scholarships, with a sponsorship value of $16 million.

To augment the scholarships and to provide the youths with opportunities for experiential learning, SMF in 2022 launched the MaritimeONE Internship Programme. Over the past two years, SMF placed more than 100 students in nearly 70 leading maritime companies. Likewise, the MaritimeONE case competitions, which connect students with maritime business and plug them into topical issues such as the intersection of technology and sustainability, have seen robust interest among the tertiary talent pool with a record 345 registrations in 2023.

To give impetus to the industry’s drive to draw youths and young adults to the sector, SMF in 2022 began the “Own Your Future” digital campaign. As a measure of the campaign’s reach, the series of nine videos produced have collectively been viewed nearly 1.9 million times.

Finally, to spur workforce transformation, SMF in 2023 co-sponsored “The Future of Seafarers 2030: A Decade of Transformation” study with DNV to examine the impact of decarbonisation and digitalisation on sea-going professionals, and launched the “Maritime Workforce Transformation Guide” with Pacific Carriers Limited and Pacific International Lines as pilot companies to testbed the usefulness of job redesign to enhance the career development of a technical superintendent and vessel operator.

Highlights of the SMF New Year Conversations 2024

In his welcome address, SMF Chairman Mr. Hor Weng Yew affirmed SMF’s commitment to further strengthen Singapore’s value proposition as a leading International Maritime Center by enhancing interconnectedness within the maritime ecosystem, and building linkages with other ecosystems beyond maritime. He also announced the formation of the first Maritime Mediators Panel (MMP) by the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA) and the Singapore International Mediation Centre (SIMC). Drawn from the panels of both institutions, the inaugural panel aims to promote mediation as an alternative means of resolution of maritime and international trading disputes. The cross-institutional collaboration will further augment Singapore’s maritime dispute resolution landscape.

Another highlight was a panel discussion, which discussed a range of topics germane to the maritime community, including the global and regional business outlook for the industry amid an increasingly complex operating environment intensified by competition and geopolitical risks, as well the evolving dynamics of the maritime workforce. The panel comprised the following industry leaders:

  • Teo Siong Seng, Executive Chairman, Pacific International Lines
    SMF Chairman (2004-2009)
  • Michael Chia, Managing Consultant, Impact Energy LLP
    SMF Chairman (2010-2015)
  • Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Chairman, BW Group
    SMF Chairman (2016-2019)
  • Hor Weng Yew, Managing Director and CEO, Pacific Carriers Limited
    SMF Chairman (2020-Present)
  • Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
    SMF Board Member (2022-Present)
  • Tan Beng Tee, Executive Director, SMF (Moderator)


Quote by SMF Chairman

“SMF has made a meaningful contribution to Maritime Singapore’s ecosystem over the past 20 years. We have and will continue to transform ourselves to be relevant to our stakeholders while being guided by our mission to strengthen Singapore as an international maritime center and to build a talent pool to meet the evolving needs of the industry. I believe the next phase for SMF’s evolution is to be a conduit for Maritime Singapore and also with other ecosystems beyond maritime, and contribute meaningfully to the global maritime industry undergoing transformation. I thank our partners for supporting the work of SMF for the collective good. We will continue to build on this strong foundation of partnership and trust to do more to advance Maritime Singapore,” said Mr. Hor Weng Yew, Chairman, Singapore Maritime Foundation.

Acting Minister for Transport Mr. Chee Hong Tat was the Guest-of-Honour and delivered the opening address.
SMF Chairman Hor Weng Yew celebrated the organisation's 20th anniversary in his welcome remarks.
SMF Executive Director Ms. Tan Beng Tee moderated a panel discussion comprising SMF's past and present Chairmen and MPA Chief Executive Mr. Teo Eng Dih.
The SMF Board ushered in 2024 with a new year toast.


About the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF)

Established in 2004, the Singapore Maritime Foundation is a conduit between the public and private sectors to accomplish the twin mission of developing and promoting Singapore as an International Maritime Centre (IMC); and to attract, engage and grow a talent pipeline to position Maritime Singapore for continued growth. For details, visit


Media Contacts:

David Lee
+65 9119 8044

Joshua Ong
+65 9011 6304


About the Singapore Maritime Foundation

Established in 2004, the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) is a conduit between the public and private sectors to accomplish the twin mission of developing and promoting Singapore as an International Maritime Centre (IMC); and to attract, engage and grow a talent pipeline to position Maritime Singapore for continued growth. For details, visit 

Media Contacts

David Lee
+65 9119 8044

Joshua Ong
+65 9011 6304


Inaugural MSC Maritime Digital Challenge Grand Finals Prize Presentation

Over 129 tertiary students across 35 teams took part in the inaugural MSC Maritime Digital Challenge that seeks to plug Singapore students with a passion for technology into the maritime industry.
Students from the Singapore Management University and Nanyang Polytechnic were announced as winners of the challenges posed by Eastport Maritime, Kanda and Torvald Klaveness at the Prize Presentation held on 13 November 2021.

MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021

Three challenge statements, 35 teams, 129 students and 12 finalist teams from 4 universities & 3 polytechnics. Catch behind-the-scene highlights of the MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021.

Singapore Maritime Foundation | MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021

Catch highlights of the MSC Maritime Digital Challenge 2021. We thank Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport Mr. Chee Hong Tat for being our Guest-of-Honour at the event.

SMF New Year Conversations 2022: Year-in-Perspective Video

The past two years of learning to live with Covid-19 has been challenging, but Maritime Singapore has remained resilient. What are the fundamental tenets that attract companies to anchor their business in Singapore and grow their operations here? And what more can be done to leverage on Singapore’s strengths to enhance its attractiveness as a global business hub for maritime companies? How will the Singapore Maritime Foundation organize its work around Connectivity, Innovation and Talent to strengthen the maritime ecosystem? Find out in this Year-in-Perspective video.

SMF New Year Conversations 2022: Opportunities Amid Disruptions

The 2022 SMF New Year Conversations that took place on 13 January 2022 was graced by Guest-of-Honour Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Transport & Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations. Over 250 industry leaders across the breadth of maritime attended physically and virtually.
Singapore was announced to have secured the overall top spot as an international maritime centre for the fifth consecutive time in the DNV-Menon Leading Maritime Cities 2022 report.
Thank you to our industry partners for your strong support.

Mr. Lars Kastrup


Mr. Lars Kastrup is the Chief Executive Officer of Pacific International Lines (Pte) Ltd (PIL).

Prior to joining PIL, Mr. Kastrup was CEO of NOL/APL, and subsequently assumed the role of Executive Vice President, Strategy and M&A at CMA CGM Group. A veteran in the global shipping industry with over 30 years of experience, Mr Kastrup’s other roles include Executive Vice President of Assets at CMA CGM Group heading up CMA Terminals, CMA Ships, Container Logistics as well as regional carriers such as MacAndrews, OPDR and Mercosul; as well as Vice President at AP Moller-Maersk.
Mr. Kastrup complemented his tertiary education with leadership and management training at Penn State University and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Angeline Teo


Ms. Angeline Teo is the Managing Director and Head of Global Transportation and Offshore, Global Corporate Banking at OCBC Bank which focuses on the maritime, aviation, land & port ecosystems.
Ms. Teo has spent over three decades in maritime finance. Prior to OCBC, Ms. Teo was working at ING Bank, ABN Amro and DnB in Singapore focusing on maritime and offshore.
Ms. Teo graduated from the National University of Singapore with a degree in Business Administration.

Mr. John Martin


Mr. John Martin began his career in London in 1989 with Richards Hogg Lindley Average Adjusters, and qualified as a Fellow of the UK Association of Average Adjusters in 2000.
At RHL he worked in their offices in Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In 2003 he joined Gard Hong Kong, as a claims handler. Mr. Martin also worked in Gard Japan, and in 2014 he moved to Singapore to set up the Gard Singapore office.
Besides running Gard Singapore, Mr. Martin also heads the P&I and H&M claims units and is the Senior Claims Representative for Gard in Asia.

Mr. Cyril Ducau


Mr. Cyril Ducau is the Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte Ltd, a leading shipping company headquartered in Singapore for the past 30 years.

He is also currently the Chairman of Kenon Holdings Ltd and a member of the board of directors of Gard P&I (Bermuda) Ltd. and of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation Limited, which was established by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. He was previously Head of Business Development of Quantum Pacific Advisory Limited in London from 2008 to 2012 and acted as Director and Chairman of Pacific Drilling SA between 2011 and 2018.
Prior to joining Quantum Pacific Advisory Limited, Mr. Ducau was Vice President in the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley & Co. International Ltd. in London between 2000 and 2008.
Mr. Ducau graduated from ESCP Europe Business School (Paris, Oxford, Berlin) and holds a Master of Science in business administration and a Diplom Kaufmann.