Transformation, Collaboration, and Talent Essential to Build a Stronger Maritime Sector – Key Industry Leaders at SMF New Year New Conversations Officiated by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Transport

01 January 2021

Speakers weighed in on the need to boost resiliency of Singapore’s maritime sector in the wake of the pandemic, building future readiness through industry transformation, digitalisation, publicprivate collaboration, and a sustainable talent pipeline.

COVID-19 has created unprecedented disruption to the global maritime industry. Despite an initial decline, improving international trade volumes have helped Singapore’s maritime sector to recover. Even though Singapore’s maritime industry demonstrated resiliency and versatility in dealing with challenges posed by the pandemic, more can be done to boost its future-readiness, strengthening its long-term growth potential.

This was the key message shared by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Transport, as he delivered his speech as the Guest-of-Honour at the SMF New Year Conversations webinar held on 13 January. Organised by the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF), it is traditionally attended by maritime leaders to usher in the new year. Themed ‘Building a Stronger Maritime Singapore Together’, the webinar was the inaugural digital edition of the event.

The webinar included a panel discussion moderated by Mr Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Chairman of SMF and BW Group. Panellists comprised industry leaders namely Ms Caroline Yang, President of the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), Ms Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), and Mr Simon Kuik, President of the Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI). They discussed the performance of the local maritime industry in 2020, the outlook for 2021 and measures to enhance the competitiveness of Maritime Singapore.

The panellists agreed that COVID-19 highlighted the need to be adaptable and resilient. Digital transformation was identified as a key enabler to allow companies to build overall resilience of the industry to tide through a challenging period.

Talent development was cited as another essential enabler for the industry’s continued growth, as a future-ready maritime workforce is necessary to support ongoing transformation initiatives. However, gaps remain in manpower efforts that panellists agreed were critical to close. Beyond talent development, another key priority is generating and sustaining interest in the industry for prospective joiners among the younger generation and mid-career switchers.

The panellists also called for stronger collaboration among industry stakeholders. Public-private collaborations allow each sector to play to its strengths, with the public sector responsible for developing and trialing fresh initiatives and standards while private sector organisations provide the requisite investment. Strong collaboration among industry players would help deepen knowledge and skills among industry players, increasing overall competitiveness.

Over the next five years, panellists forecasted digitalisation and decarbonisation to be the buzzwords of the industry as it evolves in line with changes wrought by the pandemic. Organisations were encouraged to focus on developing human capital in preparation of an eventual economic recovery, and to make use of available funding to begin the process of digitalisation. Panellists noted that decarbonisation would unlock new business opportunities, and urged industry players to capitalise on first mover advantages. More collaboration across the maritime value chain would also go some way in building a comprehensive ecosystem.

“The continued ability of Singapore’s maritime industry to overcome challenges posed by the pandemic is a result of the strong cohesion and goodwill among stakeholders. Moving ahead, industry players should focus on building preparedness against future shocks as well as developing capabilities in areas such as sustainability and digitalisation,” said Mr Andreas Sohmen-Pao. “SMF has worked hard over the past year to support continued growth in areas such as talent development and decarbonisation. As we move into 2021, SMF will continue our efforts in close collaboration with industry partners to build a stronger Maritime Singapore.”

Amidst the pandemic, SMF has continued efforts to establish a strong talent pipeline throughout 2020. Notable events included the MSC Maritime Careers Workshop aimed at dispelling misconceptions of the industry for prospective fresh graduate joiners and the MSC Connexions Forum which discussed talent and employment trends. A gender diversity milestone was achieved around the 2020 MaritimeONE Scholarship Awards, which registered the highest number of female scholars since the programme’s inception in 2007. Supported by MPA, SMF also established the International Advisory Panel on Maritime Decarbonisation in 2020, aimed at developing strategies to accelerate the industry’s goal of sustainable shipping.

About the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF)

Established in 2004, the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) is a private-sector led organization that aims to develop and promote Singapore as an International Maritime Centre (IMC), forging partnerships with the public and private sectors. SMF’s initiatives aim to strengthen the cluster, attract young talent to the industry, and support work on important issues such as decarbonisation. SMF is overseen by its Board of Directors which comprises prominent leaders in the Singapore maritime community. For details, visit https://smf.24kdesigns.com

Media Contacts

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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

CO-PRESIDENT & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL LINES

Mr. Lars Kastrup is the Co-President and Executive Director 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

MANAGING DIRECTOR & HEAD, GLOBAL TRANSPORTATION & OFFSHORE, OCBC BANK

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

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, GARD SINGAPORE

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

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, EASTERN PACIFIC SHIPPING

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.