OPENING REMARKS BY MS QUAH LEY HOON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MARITIME AND PORT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE AT THE MPA GLOBAL INTERNSHIP AWARD PRESENTATION CEREMONY AT SINGAPORE MARRIOTT TANG PLAZA HOTEL ON 17 MAY 2019

17 May 2019

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good Evening.

INTRODUCTION

1.     Welcome to the 2019 MPA Global Internship Award Presentation Ceremony.  A warm welcome to the award recipients, friends, family, and participating companies.  

PARTICIPATING COMPANIES AND RECIPIENTS

2.     This year, we have 47 young promising individuals receiving the MPA Global Internship Award (GIA), made possible by 33 participating companies.  This is another record high for us.

3.     To the participating companies - my deepest of thanks for partnering with us on this initiative, giving us a chance to mentor and coach the future maritime talent, and more importantly, for us to know our future recruits well.  

4.     I would like to extend a special mention to the companies that have just come onboard this year, including – shipping companies such as APL, CMA CGM & ANL Singapore, Meadway Shipping, OSM Ship Management; port operator Jurong Port; classification societies such as DNV GL and Lloyd’s Register; and last but not least, Alpha Ori Technologies – a maritime technology company. 

5.     To our award recipients from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Singapore Management University (SMU) – you will be embarking on an exciting journey of learning in Singapore and abroad. There is so much to look forward to.

MARITIME INDUSTRY WITH DEEP HISTORY AND IN THE HEART OF THE WORLD

6.     I trust that you are aware that you will be participating in a vibrant industry that is rich in Singapore’s history going back to 700 years ago.  Do you know that the Tanjang Pagar Terminal is the first container terminal in Southeast Asia opened in 1972, when no other country dared venture into this then?  And we are creating the next chapter by consolidating our port operations to Tuas by the 2040s.  

7.     The maritime industry plays a big part in making Singapore the modern metropolis that it is today.  Today, Singapore is an international maritime centre contributing some 7% of Singapore’s GDP, employing about 170,000 people, and home to over 5,000 multi-national maritime businesses.  At any one time, we have 1,000 vessels calling on our port. By being in the maritime industry, you are working in the heart of the world – with career choices ranging from on-shore to offshore functions. 


IN NEED OF MULTI-DISCIPLINARY TALENT

8.     I understand that all of you come from a range of academic disciplines, from maritime studies, accountancy and business, to economics, computing and law.

a.     This year, we have a record number of seven students with computing background.  They will be embarking on technology-related projects, be it computing or data analytics, with our participating companies.  An example is Mr Daniel Adipranoto, a NUS student currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Economics, with a second major in Computer Science.  On this programme, Daniel will be attached to Pacific International Lines (PIL).  He will have the opportunity to work with the IT team in Chennai on developing a mobile device web application for PIL.


b.     Besides capabilities in technology, we also have among us students from the Business discipline.  Ms Hannah Cheuk, is a Banking & Finance student from NTU, specialising in International Trade.  Her keen interest in the maritime industry has largely been influenced by her mother who has been working with Ship Operators and Charterers in the industry for the past 30 years.  Being someone who loves challenges, she hopes she can ride on the exciting waves of digitalisation and transformation rippling through the industry today.  She is very much looking forward to contribute as a Finance Intern with Gazprom Marketing & Trading Singapore.


9.     Even in MPA, I am seeing interns from universities and polytechnics from various disciplines of study such as business, economics, engineering, computer science, arts and social sciences, and operations.  I enjoyed talking to them – fresh from school, you often come in with different perspectives.  While you contribute your youth, diligence and ideas, our organisation (and I am sure I speak on behalf of the companies here as well) offer you the expertise, the real-life experience, pragmatism, and most importantly the resilience.  What does it take to operate in the real world?  It requires you to want to not only learn, but also learn fast.  Take this opportunity to develop your EQ and AQ – both of which cannot be learnt from textbooks. 

10.     To the parents and family members here, let me assure you that this is a very good deal for our award recipients here today. The maritime industry is an important driver of Singapore’s economy, so rest assured there will be well-paying, quality jobs in this sector.  To date, over 200 students have benefitted from the GIA programme.  More than half of our GIA students have also progressed on to a career with a maritime company upon their graduation.  Some have even gone on to be employed by companies which hosted them.

11.     An example is Mr Chua Zheng Yang, a graduate from SMU’s School of Economics, with a specialisation in Maritime Economics.  Zheng Yang took up the opportunity offered by the GIA programme in 2017, and served as a trainee broker with Braemar ACM Shipbroking.  This proved to be his key to unlocking a career in the maritime sector.  Today, as a full-time Operations Executive with Braemar in the Operations team, he derives a sense of accomplishment from ensuring the safe completion of a fixture, as well as the many opportunities to interact and engage with his clients.


CONCLUSION

12.     In closing, I firmly believe that a multidisciplinary workforce with global perspectives is critical to transform Singapore’s maritime industry and bring it to the next level.  MPA is committed to the GIA programme, as well as our partners in the industry and institutes of higher learning, so that our students receive good training and exposure, and will continue to grow our maritime industry.

13.     To our award recipients, we hope you will have an enriching experience in the weeks ahead.  Ask questions, stay open, and learn fast.  We look forward to welcoming you into the maritime industry upon your graduation.

14.     To the participating companies, NTU, NUS and SMU, thank you once again for partnering MPA in this programme and for coaching and mentoring our future maritime team. 
 
15.     Thank you.