HK Shipowners Association urges statutory board for maritime sector as it turns 60

The Hong Kong Shipowners  Association  (HKSOA) urged  the Hong Kong SAR  government to set   up  an  independent,  statutory  maritime  authority  with  sufficient  resources  and  powers  to   respond  to  the  keen  competition  in  the  region  and  to  consolidate  the city's status  as a   global  maritime  centre. 

At  the HKSOA's  60th anniversary cocktail reception new chairman Oak Maritime (Hong Kong) md Jack Hsu  said:  “I would  like  to  thank  our  government  for  its  initiative  in  setting  up  the  Maritime  and  Port  Board, which has addressed  some  of  the  concerns  of  the  maritime  sector.  Of  course, we  would  much  prefer  a   statutory body in the  longer  run to  take  on  the  work.

"We hope the Government will create an independent, statutory maritime authority to work closely with the industry in adjusting existing policy, and developing new initiatives, in order to improve the competitive nature of our maritime sector,” Hsu concluded.

The HKSOA also supports the setting up of a dedicated policy bureau with sufficient resources to drive the long term development of the maritime, aviation, ports and logistics sectors.

Industry players have long suggested the decoupling of the transport function from the Transport and Housing Bureau (THB), creating a new Transport Bureau that would oversee all road, air and sea transport matters.HKSAR chief executive Carrie Lam was guest of honour at the cocktail and reiterated the government's commitment to formulating a comprehensive strategy to bolster the development of the maritime industry.

Other VIPs included  CH Tung, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and HKSOA Patron, Qiu Hong, Deputy Minister, Liaison Office of the  Central People's Government in the HKSAR, Song Ru An, Deputy Commissioner, Office of the Commissioner of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in  the  HKSAR, THB secretary Frank Chan, Environment secretary KS Wong, and Director of Marine Maisie. “I believe that our maritime industry will scale new heights, as long as we take good  advantage of the opportunities arising from national policies like the Belt and Road initiative, and continue to bring Hong Kong’s competitive advantages into  play,” concluded immediate past chairman Wah Kwong Maritime Transport chairman Sabrina Chao.
      

Posted 24 November 2017

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Vincent Wee

Hong Kong and SE Asia Correspondent, Seatrade Maritime News