This year’s SMW is themed around “Driving Connectivity, Innovation, and Talent” as the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), that drives the week as whole, looks to address the future challenges the shipping and maritime industries face.
Speaking at the opening Minister Khaw said: “Shipping industry is being disrupted by digital revolution and business transformation. Political pressures brought about by globalisation and income inequality add immense challenges. What will the shipping industry be like in 20 years’ time? Who will be the new mega players? What about the incumbents? How could policy makers facilitate orderly transformation? How should workers prepare themselves for the future?
“SMW gathers the thought leaders in the maritime industry to share insights on these issues, so that we can all seize new opportunities. Together, we can ride the tide and shape the future.”
Introduced back in 2006 SMW is now its 14th year and has grown to be packed nine-day schedule that embraces both industry events and outreach to the general public. The maritime week expects to receive 40,000 delegates, including industry professionals, business leaders and government officials, this year.
The single largest industry event is Sea Asia 2019 co-organised by UBM (Seatrade) and the Singapore Maritime Foundation. In its seventh edition at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) Sea Asia expects to attract more than 15,000 visitors and conference attendees. MBS also plays host to TOC Asia on 9 – 10 April an exhibition and conference focused on container ports and handling.
On the public outreach front events include the SMW 2019 – Bicentennial from 8 – 14 April at the Marina Square central atrium. As Singapore celebrates 200 years of its modern founding the exhibition brings to life the Lion City’s maritime heritage taking on journey through, past, present and future. The exhibition features both archival photos of the Port of Singapore and looking to the future a multi-touch “Next Generation Port” exhibit.
Sunday morning also saw the annual Amazing Maritime Challenge (pictured) which saw 900 contestants race around the island to discover more about its maritime centre and global hub port.