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Singapore rewards its maritime cluster supporters

Singapore rewards its maritime cluster supporters

Singapore: The 4th Singapore International Maritime Awards ceremony held this week saw the introduction of two new categories, as well as a special International Maritime Centre award to SS Teo (pictured). The awards given out recognise companies for their commitment in making Singapore their base for shipping operations.

One of the two new categories, was a 'Maritime Service Provider Award', presented to DnB Nor Bank ASA Singapore Branch (see separate story). The other was an 'Offshore and Marine Engineering Award' and went to Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. The other existing award categories include bunker, maritime R&D & technology and training development, as well as one for the Singapore Registry of Ships' owner of the year.

Teo Siong Siong, md of Pacific International Lines (PIL), received a special International Maritime Centre award. Not only PIL is ranked today among the 20 top containership operators in the world but Teo, who heads both the Singapore Maritime Foundation and Singapore Shipping Association, was also instrumental in encouraging the Asian Shipowners' Forum to locate its first-ever permanent office in Singapore.

In addition, there is also the Approved International Shipping Enterprise (AIS), Approved Shipping Logistics Enterprise (ASL) and Maritime Finance Incentive (MFI). These awards are essentially tax incentives granted to qualifying companies and there are currently over 100 companies under these schemes. Induction of another 20 companies was marked this week.

Philip Clausius, President & CEO, FSL Trust Management Pte. Ltd., which received an MFI incentive award, told Seatrade " We believe Singapore will gradually develop into the world's leading maritime and ship finance center. Hence basing our business in Singapore makes eminent sense from a marketing, development and funding perspective". He said the MFI scheme gives them the tax framework on the basis of which they can efficiently build their business in the recognized Singapore jurisdiction.

Rajiv Mukerji, Managing Director, Tata NYK Shipping Pte. Ltd. which received an AIS incentive award, said that one of the advantages of being based in Singapore is that their newly-formed company can reap the benefits offered under the AIS scheme. He also feels that the AIS status "adds further credibility" to this joint venture company.  [27/09/07]