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UK remains a maritime hub in face of competition, UK Chamber survey finds

UK remains a maritime hub in face of competition, UK Chamber survey finds
A UK Chamber of Shipping survey has found 71% of respondents in agreement that the UK remains a globally competitive place to do business, with a 55% putting London as the world's leading maritime centre.

The city was followed by Singapore, with 25% of the vote, described by the Chamber as "a close second".

“As an industry, we talk a lot about the increased competition from overseas the UK faces and here we see evidence of this competition in real terms," said Chamber ceo Guy Platten. “Our findings show that global shipping practitioners see other centres as attractive destinations for maritime businesses and we must up our game if the UK is to remain a preeminent maritime centre into the future.

“We believe that reform of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is a necessary part of this challenge. To attract new business, more ships on the UK register and more companies basing themselves here, the MCA must become more commercially aware, customer focused and understanding of demands of global shipping companies. Our competitors understand this and so must we.

“So too must we support the training and education of a seafaring generation in order to meet the needs of the global industry and take advantage of the predicted shortfall as global trade grows.”

Despite recent outcry regarding the introduction of Europe-specific Monitoring, Reporting and Verification requirements, further findings of the survey included 64% of respondents arguing that the EU has a net positive impact on global shipping, with 21% responding negatively. A further 47.65% responded that membership of the EU was beneficial for their business, with 27% claiming it was "neither important nor unimportant" and only 14% describing membership as "irrelevant".

“These findings show that whilst the global shipping industry supports the principles of the European Union, the jury is still out on the idea that Brexit could damage the industry,” said Platten. “There are clearly concerns surrounding EU “mission creep”, and the negative impact regional gold-plating of regulation can have upon the shipping industry, which reduces the ability of EU members to compete in the global market.

“If the European Commission truly believes in competiveness, it must understand that in an industry where global regulation exists, too much regional regulation is asking for trouble.”