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Sohmen-Pao to focus on industry participation in S'pore maritime as SMF chairman

Sohmen-Pao to focus on industry participation in S'pore maritime as SMF chairman
Incoming Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) chairman Andreas Sohmen-Pao will be focusing on the participation of industry players in the objective of further growing the country as an international maritime centre.

Sohmen-Pao, chairman of shipowner BW Group, officially took up the role of chairman of the industry-led promotional body on Wednesday, as Michael Chia, md (marine & technology), Keppel Offshore & Marine stood down after six years at the helm.

Speaking to Seatrade Maritime News about why he had decided to take on the post of chairman at SMF Sohmen-Pao says: “Singapore has achieved tremendous success in the maritime sphere in the last decade and it’s partly to due to good government policies, partly because of active support from the industry players, and partly because of healthy dialogue between the public and private sectors. SMF has a key role to play in all of this and it is a privilege for me to be involved with all of that.”

The theme of the participation of the industry in growing Singapore as a maritime centre is key to what he sees as his role at SMF. “The SMF is ultimately only as strong as the participation of the maritime players in Singapore and its ability to attract new international players to support it as an international maritime centre.

“So I see my role as encouraging support from all these parties despite the current industry headwinds and keeping our focus on our other goals such as talent development.”

As the new chairman of SMF Sohmen-Pao does not plan to radically change the foundation’s direction but rather build on what has already been achieved over the last 12 years.

“I’m not looking as incoming chairman to significantly change the vision and strategy of SMF as it has a very sound vision and strategy, but of course to bring together different players from the industry to think about how we can enhance what we’ve been doing before,” he explains.

The SMF will continue to focus on three key areas: enhancing maritime talent development, further raising Singapore’s profile and standing the global maritime community, and strengthening the cohesiveness of the maritime community within Singapore.

Sohmen-Pao wants to encourage all maritime companies in Singapore to be involved as BW Group is in initiatives such as scholarships, internships and telling the maritime story to continue to bring more young talent into the industry.

“Not every company can necessarily do an equal amount on these fronts, but if we all do a little in those different kind of ways we can collectively be very successful.”

Seatrade and SMF co-organise the bi-annual Sea Asia exhibition and conference, the next edition Sea Asia 2017 will be held at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, 25 - 27 April 2017.