The International Maritime Centre (IMC) 2030 Advisory Committee, established by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) in August 2016, has submitted the IMC 2030 Strategic Review report to the Singapore Government. The Committee’s vision is for Maritime Singapore to be the Global Maritime Hub for Connectivity, Innovation and Talent.
2. The Committee, chaired by Mr Andreas Sohmen-Pao, Chairman of BW Group, comprises 21 other global business leaders and experts from diverse sectors such as maritime, finance, commodities trading, logistics, finance and technology.
Global Hub Port and IMC as Growth Drivers
3. The Committee reaffirmed that Singapore’s global hub port and IMC remain complementing twin engines of growth for Maritime Singapore.
4. The Next Generation Port (NGP) at Tuas will play a key role in attracting key shipping players and driving physical trade flows. Singapore should therefore continue to invest in new port capacity and future capabilities.
5. The integrated ecosystem of Singapore’s IMC, comprising diverse industry players ranging from international shipping groups to ancillary services, and ship repair and conversion, also helps attract non-physical flows such as finance, people, data, and information, which are becoming increasingly important.
6. Going forward, Singapore’s IMC can benefit from the growth of Asia and other emerging markets, new industry opportunities and technological developments.
7. Mr Andreas Sohmen-Pao said, “The successful growth of Singapore’s maritime sector over the past decade has been founded on a clear strategy, effective implementation, and strong alignment between the government and the maritime community. These factors are even more relevant at a time where the outlook is less certain and where the emphasis is shifting from physical to virtual flows. Connectivity, innovation and talent are seen as the best ways to remain responsive to changing conditions, and the report provides action-oriented recommendations to be ready for future challenges and opportunities.”
A Global Maritime Hub for Connectivity, Innovation and Talent
8. The Committee’s vision for Maritime Singapore is centred on strengthening existing clusters of maritime and related activities and creating new ones around Connectivity, Innovation and Talent.
9. The Committee’s efforts and the report were recognised by Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Health, at the 32nd Anniversary Gala Dinner of the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) tonight.
10. SMS Dr Lam Pin Min said, “The IMC 2030 Advisory Committee has issued a clear call for Maritime Singapore to take bold steps to strengthen Singapore’s position as a global maritime hub. I thank Mr Sohmen-Pao and the committee members for their dedication and hard work. We will continue to build upon this close partnership between the Government and the industry.”
11. The Committee is of the view that Singapore can further widen and deepen its IMC cluster by harnessing both physical and non-physical trade flows. To reinforce the network effects, Singapore will need to strengthen the inter-linkages:
(a) Within the Singapore IMC cluster by further entrenching maritime players in Singapore and broadening the depth and range of activities, including possible co-location of existing and new maritime-related activities;
(b) Between the Singapore IMC and adjacent industries such as commodity trading, logistics and e-commerce; and
(c) Between Singapore’s IMC and other complementary international maritime clusters through stronger business linkages, collaborations on R&D, training and education, and development of new international standards and regulations that will benefit the whole industry.
12. Innovation should remain a key focus of Singapore’s IMC to enable the development of future capabilities and solutions that build on emerging technologies, such as autonomous systems, robotics, data analytics and artificial intelligence. The Committee supported the need for an environment that would catalyse innovation, such as the MPA Living Lab, as well as a closer alignment of public and private sector R&D efforts.
13. The committee identified talent as a critical success factor and Maritime Singapore will need to continue building a future-ready workforce with relevant skills and a global mindset that anticipates the future needs of the industry. As maritime is a global industry, Singapore will need to continue to attract its share of global talent. Greater efforts are also needed to attract more Singaporeans into this industry, which offers many exciting opportunities.
Five Key Strategies to Enhance Vibrancy and Competitiveness
14. The Committee’s vision is underpinned by five key strategies focused on leveraging Singapore’s core strengths and anchoring physical and non-physical flows that will enhance the vibrancy and competitiveness of our hub port and IMC:
I. Expand and deepen the maritime cluster;
II. Strengthen inter-linkages and network effects;
III. Develop a vibrant maritime innovation ecosystem and promote digitalisation;
IV. Develop a multi-skilled maritime workforce with a global mindset; and
V. Establish Singapore as a global maritime standard bearer
15. SSA’s President, Mr Esben Poulsson, who also sits on the IMC 2030 Advisory Committee said, “Maritime Singapore is recognised internationally as a global hub port and international maritime centre. SSA is delighted to partner MPA to realise the vision for Singapore to be the Global Maritime Hub for Connectivity, Innovation and Talent.”
16. A copy of the report by the IMC 2030 Advisory Committee is available here
Annex A: IMC 2030 Vision and Strategies (Infographic)
Annex B: IMC 2030 Advisory Committee Members