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Forward-looking themes at Singapore Maritime Week 2018

Amidst the recent dramatic cyclical and structural changes in the global shipping industry, Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) 2018 will centre on the theme, “Positioning for Future Growth – Driving Connectivity, Innovation and Talent”.

This vision for Singapore to be the Global Maritime Hub for Connectivity, Innovation and Talent is outlined in the International Maritime Centre (IMC) 2030 Strategy Review and the Sea Transport Industry Transformation Map.

Organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), SMW is a key platform for the industry to gather and discuss the pressing and emerging issues driving the regional and international maritime landscape. The 13th edition of SMW, which runs from 21 to 29 April 2018, brings the international maritime community together for 19 forums and conferences, 11 networking receptions and four public outreach activities.

While the industry still faces challenges from geopolitical uncertainties, industry consolidation, regulatory pressures and disruptive technologies, there have also been promising signs of recovery and the events during the week reflect this range of issues going forward.

“This is an exciting time for the maritime industry. With the advent of Industry 4.0, rise of e-commerce and changes to global logistics supply chains, the industry has to transform itself. SMW 2018 will not only bring together the who’s who from the global maritime industry but also business leaders and leading experts from non-maritime and adjacent sectors to delve deep into the dynamic maritime environment. Through events such as the flagship Singapore Maritime Lecture, the inaugural Global Perspectives Forum and the 3rd Singapore Maritime Technology Conference, panellists and participants will not only debate emerging trends but also new strategies as the maritime industry readies itself for the future,” said MPA ce Andrew Tan.

Transforming for the future through connectivity, innovation and growth

The keynote speaker for this year’s Singapore Maritime Lecture, the pre-eminent event at SMW, is AP Møller – Maersk ceo Søren Skou, who will share insights into the crucial factors impacting the maritime sector, the threats and opportunities he foresees, and how industry players can harness emerging trends, technologies and market forces to remain competitive.

Following on from the forward looking theme of the week, the Seatrade and Singapore Maritime Foundation-organised LNG Shipping and Clean Energy Forum will feature in-depth discussions on the macro outlook of LNG production and demand, shipping and regasification solutions and downstream markets including the development of smallscale LNG and LNG bunkering.

Global Perspectives: The Future of Shipping is a new future-focussed event that will debut at SMW 2018, gathering a diverse panel consisting of maritime veterans Martin Stopford, president of Clarkson Research and Carl Schou, president of Wilhelmsen Ship Management. An interesting feature will be the inclusion of leaders of disruptive and emerging businesses such as Lim Kell Jay, Singapore Country Head for Grab, James Chang, Group Chief Crossborder Officer from Lazada Group and Tal Drory, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) expert from IBM. The multi-industry approach is expected to bring deep insights and fresh perspectives as they discuss the transformation taking place in the maritime industry and possible disruption of current business models by players outside the industry.

The increasing use of technology as well as its attendant risks is another key theme at SMW. The Singapore Maritime Technology Conference and Exhibition 2018 will focus on digital innovation in the maritime industry, in line with innovation and technology as a key cross-cutting theme throughout the week. The conference will evaluate how the industry has progressed, and identify opportunities and gaps in digital innovation and technology adoption.

The need to boost virtual security; from pre-empting to managing cyber threats, will be addressed at the Maritime Cyber Security Seminar 2018 which will focus on the cyber threat landscape, cyber risk management and shipboard security.

“As innovation and technological advances transform maritime and many other industries, they will be a major cross-cutting theme for SMW 2018. To strengthen Singapore’s connectivity, deepen maritime R&D capabilities and to create a vibrant innovation culture, MPA will be inking several Memorandum of Understanding (MOUs) with various parties during the week. These MOUs seek to enhance our physical and non-physical connectivity, build up future capabilities for efficient port operations and safe, secure navigation, bolster Singapore’s innovation eco-system and develop a future-ready talent pool,” concluded Tan.

SMW 2018 promises to provide a holistic line-up of events that will address a broad range of challenges faced by today’s leaders and professionals and provide them with the network, knowledge and insights to better position themselves for future growth.

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