<> INTRODUCTORY REMARKS BY MS QUAH LEY HOON, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MARITIME AND PORT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE FOR UN GLOBAL COMPACT ONLINE HIGH-LEVEL MEETING ON SUSTAINABLE OCEAN BUSINESS AND 2030 AGENDA ON 2 JUNE 2020

02 June 2020

Prime Minister
Excellencies
distinguished guests

A very good evening from Singapore

Introduction
1.    Let me first commend the UN Global Compact for gathering us here with the common goal of advancing towards the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, and specifically to form this panel on shipping, bringing together players from the IMO, industry and ports.

COVID-19, Climate change and Decarbonisation
2.    I would first share some thoughts on the macro trends in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The economic repercussions are far-reaching. For shipping, we will be looking at disruption of global supply chains, and we will be seeing a rethinking towards near-shoring. For the global and local economy, the most feared recession would affect jobs and livelihood.

3.    Yet, as the pandemic slows human activities, we actually witness how it could restore the ocean to some degree to its natural balance. Therefore, we are here today, to see how while we tackle the immediate challenges of COVID-19, it also presents an opportunity for us, for the governments and for the industries to leave behind “business-as-usual” mindsets, and transit into a new normal that will be more sustainable.

Decarbonisation & Shipping – Two proposals
4.    Singapore is committed to work with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and member states to achieve the 2030 and 2050 greenhouse gas reduction goals.

5.    I will put forth two proposals today on digitalisation and decarbonisation. First, digitalisation.

6.    digitalOCEANSTM We need greater digitalisation and harmonisation of data in the maritime supply chain. In times of a pandemic, the digitalisation of shipping not only reduces human interactions, but it also allows shipping to yield a new level of efficiency.

7.    digitalOCEANSTM can allow ships, ports and global trade platforms to share data and interoperate seamlessly with each other. This allows us to commit to common data exchange protocols, and connect isolated “data lakes”. The outcome? More efficient voyages. Lower resultant emissions. We have got some industry partners onboard and will be looking at bringing in port authorities to collaborate on digitalOCEANSTM.

Singapore is committed to sustainable shipping
8.    The second proposal is a Circle of Collaboration on decarbonisation. 

9.    We recognise the value of partnership among government, industry and academia. This is why we have set up an International Advisory Panel to harness the expertise of local and international leaders. We have also launched a S$40 million Maritime GreenFuture Fund to create ecosystems of trials and test-bedding of low-carbon technologies.

10.   There are already of course some ongoing efforts by my distinguished panellists here, IMO and CMA CGM. We can perhaps build on this collaborative spirit to accelerate the trials and adoption of more efficient and greener technologies for shipping. This Circle of Collaboration, together with the IMO, will allow us to bring ports, industry and governments together to share the knowledge of all the trials that we have been doing and allow us to commit to some concrete actions moving forward.

Conclusion
11.   I will conclude by citing Mr Kitack Lim (IMO Secretary-General), who is on the panel here, that [quote] the voyage has just started towards a more environmentally friendly and low-carbon future that the sector must attain [unquote]. Indeed, the journey has started and we are excited to collaborate with like-minded partners on this voyage towards more sustainable shipping and ports. I thank you for your attention.