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Asian shipowners urge greater collaboration with ICS

With Asia gaining prominence in the maritime industry, the relationship between the Asian shipowners and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has become even more important.

This fact was highlighted at a cocktail event ahead of the ICS annual general meeting in Hong Kong this week. Speaking at the event, TCC Group chief corporate officer Gary Cheung said: “Asia is maritime and maritime is Asia; ships and shipping have become the driving force as well as the foundation upon which the dynamic economic growth of Asia has been built.”

He added: “The collaboration and partnership of Asian shipowners’ associations and the ICS plays a critical role in interpreting, strategizing and formulating action plans in meeting the flood of challenges from maritime regulatory entities.”

“Whether these challenges deal with environmental, safety, operational or liability compliance Asia is more often than not on the receiving end of all these challenges,” Cheung said, noting that often in Asia, ship owners, managers, builders, maritime training institutions and many companies are usually left to their own devices when it comes to meeting these challenges.

This was “an extremely daunting task when maritime regulatory requirements have become increasingly disengaged from the realities of ships and shipping," Cheung pointed out.

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The Asian shipping industry’s job description is becoming more and more of a “miracle worker being tasked to perform mission impossible,” he quipped. As such the urgency for the ICS to heed the voice of the Asian shipping industry and to work with ICS members in this region is “growing exponentially day by day”.

Synergy must be developed between the producers and end users of regulations, he reiterated. “The burden of compliance should be shared and this can only be done through collaboration, coordination and cooperation,” Cheung concluded.

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