05 July 2017

Students, Teachers,

Maritime Singapore Colleagues



1.     Welcome to the 4th edition of the Singapore Maritime Dialogue. I am very glad to join you today.

2.     The maritime sector has played a significant role in the development of Singapore. It contributes 7% of our GDP, and employs more than 170,000 people. The Port of Singapore is the world’s busiest transhipment hub and is connected to more than 600 ports in over 120 countries worldwide. This makes it easier, faster and cheaper to import food we eat and personal items we use, such as our clothes and phones. Businesses in Singapore can also easily import the materials and parts they require.

Maritime Singapore Well Regarded Internationally


3.     But Maritime Singapore is more than the port. We are also a leading international maritime centre, comprising some 5,000 maritime establishments and 140 international shipping groups. Recently, Menon Business Economics, a global business consultancy firm, ranked Singapore as the leading maritime capital in the world for the third time in a row.

4.     Indeed, Maritime Singapore is held in high regard by the industry. When I was in Oslo for a maritime conference recently, many CEOs I spoke to found Singapore a good place to operate their businesses. One told me that establishing the company’s Asian HQ in Singapore some 40 years ago was one of the best decisions the company had taken.

Exciting Maritime Career Opportunities

5.     Having a vibrant ecosystem of maritime companies in Singapore means there are many exciting maritime job opportunities for Singaporeans.

6.     Taking a job within the maritime sector may conjure images of working under the sun in a tough and greasy environment. This is quite far from the truth. Many functions in the port are becoming more advanced, more automated. For example, a crane operator can now manage more cranes in the comfort of an air-conditioned room!

7.     The wave of digitalisation and transformation will go beyond jobs in the port. We will need many data scientists, robotics experts and cyber-security specialists to complement the slew of exciting careers in chartering, ship-broking, maritime law and arbitration, and marine insurance. For those who wish to experience working and living in different parts of the world, there are many career paths that are global in nature.

8.     And you don’t need to have a specialised degree in maritime to join the sector. Victor Tan, who is an electrical engineer at the Pasir Panjang Terminal, joined PSA soon after graduating from NTU in 2015 with a Bachelor of Engineering. He manages a team to ensure that cranes are in their best condition. Outside of PSA, I understand that Victor is an avid drone hobbyist. He saw an opportunity to develop a drone prototype through 3D printing to help with his everyday work – which includes lubricating the wire ropes of the cranes that lift the containers. This is a great example of marrying his love of technology with his job at PSA to enhance the productivity of his team.


Efforts to Grow the Manpower Pipeline

9.     The Government is committed to helping you take up the many rewarding career opportunities Maritime Singapore has to offer. Together with industry partners, MPA offers various internships, attachments, management associate programmes and scholarships, for you to experience a career in Maritime Singapore.

10.     Muhammad Danish bin Fadzlon, an NTU graduate, did an overseas internship under MPA’s Global Internship Award. Danish’s father was a ship captain who told him stories about vessels being sunk by huge waves or hijacked by pirates when he was young. Not only was Danish undaunted by these challenges, he found the stories of the high seas so intriguing, that he chose to read Maritime Studies at NTU. Under the MPA Global Internship Award, he interned with J. Lauritzen, a shipping company based in Denmark. And had the opportunity to rotate between two offices – one in Singapore and another in Copenhagen!

11.     Today we have invited two maritime professionals Mr Ivan Lim from Keppel Shipyard and Ms Akanksha Batura from Sinoda Shipping Agency Pte Ltd, to share with you their inspiring stories working in the maritime industry.

12.     To make it easier for you to find out more about maritime careers and opportunities, the Maritime Singapore Connect office, which was established last year, has launched a website that provides more information on the various programmes I mentioned. You can also submit your resume through the website and it will be viewed by potential employers.



13.     I hope that you will make full use of the opportunity today to learn more about the maritime industry and the many career opportunities it offers.

14.     Thank you.