This year’s dialogue surrounded the theme, ‘Braving the Seas of Economic Uncertainty’, as the Singapore maritime industry faces challenging times in the global business sphere. The young maritime executives, together with Mrs Teo, took the chance to elaborate on the industry’s continuous efforts to push for the development of Maritime Singapore, which is necessary as this is an industry that is critical to Singapore’s economy and it is here to stay.
Mrs Teo said, “The maritime community in Singapore is a resilient lot, having been through many ups and downs in the industry due to the cyclical nature of its business. I believe that Maritime Singapore will survive the current challenging economic environment as well, with strong support from the Government, with the industry’s initiative and innovation to diversify their businesses, and with the maritime community’s perseverance and grit. Together with key stakeholders, we will continue to invest in infrastructure and technology, as well as step up our manpower development efforts to attract and nurture promising individuals to join the maritime fraternity. I am heartened to see young Singaporeans like Hazreen and Wayne, who are so willing and eager to share about the industry’s prospects with their juniors. I hope that the youths will walk away inspired by these passionate young individuals.”
Ms Lao Mei Leng, the Councillor and Chairman of the Young Executives Group (YEG) under the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA), and also the moderator for this year’s dialogue, added that the youths will find the maritime industry an intriguing and exciting one.
“For youths who are still unsure about their career aspirations, I would strongly encourage them to consider the maritime sector, as it is an industry so huge and diverse that there will definitely be an area where you can find an interest in. I have encountered many young executives in the business who enjoy and find a great sense of satisfaction in their work, especially when they know that they are contributing significantly to an exciting industry which makes up seven per cent of Singapore’s GDP. There will also be many industry events which you can attend, where you will have the luxury to network and make new friends,” said Ms Lao, who is working full-time as a Partner at Moore Stephens LLP and is also a Singapore Maritime Ambassador1.
As part of the event programme, participating students also had the opportunity to go on an exclusive port tour hosted by PSA, where they witnessed first-hand the maritime operations in the terminals and how the things which we use in our everyday lives are being handled and shipped.
Mr Muhammad Hazreen Bin M Haffis, a Singapore Maritime Ambassador and one of the young maritime executives who shared his stories during the dialogue added, “This is a rare opportunity for the students as entry into the Singapore port terminals is usually restricted. I hope that with the additional element of the port tour this year, the youths are able to better relate the maritime industry to their personal lives. After all, shipping moves 90 per cent of world trade, where our mobile devices, our clothes and our food are all being shipped by sea, and this is still the most cost efficient mode of transport. A lot of players are involved in this whole shipping business, and if you are up for it, join the maritime industry and be part of this important process.”