While numbers were down on the last two years it was still an impressive turnout at the Marina Bay Sands ballroom.
Getting a large crowd of shipping executives at an event in Singapore to actually listen to speeches is a notoriously difficult, if not impossible task. SSA president Esben Poulsson started his speech with the good news that he would be the only one speaking at the event. However, he also quipped the bad news was that as guest-of-honour Khaw Boon Wan, Singapore Minister for Transport was not giving a speech he presumably did not have goodies to give away to the industry from the government.
In a review of SSA’s activities over the last year Poulsson noted a number of ongoing initiatives to encourage Singaporeans to take a career in the maritime sector. Not surprisingly in the current market he noted, “The finance work group headed by councillor Lee Keng Mun, in collaboration with MPA (Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore) and the SGX (Singapore Exchange), is facing challenging times trying to attract more IPOs to list on the SGX.”
Looking back over the last year he noted he’d been asked what had been his proudest moments over the last year.
“To me, one was our 30th anniversary gala dinner last year when more than 2,000 people attended, including Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and (then) Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew. Another was our role in organising OSV@VIVO which saw over 3,000 visitors during Singapore Maritime Week in April, making it a huge success.”
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