08 April 2019

Mr Yap Ong Heng, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Transport 

Your Excellencies 

Participants of the 3rd Advanced Maritime Leaders’ Programme

Distinguished guests

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. Good morning. It is with great pleasure that I welcome all of you to the 3rd Advanced Maritime Leaders’ Programme. Many of you have travelled long distances, as far as the Caribbean and Latin America, to be here with us today.  I enjoyed the many conversations with you and learnt much over dinner yesterday. I hope that these conversations can continue through this one week of AMLP.  

Training Maritime Leaders

2. Let me first share with you a bit more about MPA Academy and the training programs that it has put in place.  After all, you are here on invitation from MPAA and Suan Jow, our Dean of the Academy.
3. Since 2014, the MPA Academy has been repositioned as a full-fledged academy, with a focus on global maritime leadership training.  We want to provide the most in depth and dedicated trainings for port and maritime officials at various levels from around the world. Its key objective is to support the training needs of the IMO.  

4. Since 1998, Singapore and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have put in place a MOU on Third Country Training Programme (TCTP).  We have also been conducting workshops for the IMO Member States. We have seen participation from more than 2,000 officials from over 90 countries. MPA commits to continue to build on the manpower capacity development with IMO. 

5. To further reaffirm our commitment to the IMO and global maritime community, MPAA also launched the enhanced training package for the IMO and its member States, in April last year.  The enhanced package includes increasing the scale and scope of technical assistance in cooperation with the IMO, strengthening networks and links with the World Maritime University, as well as enhancing global maritime leadership training. 

6. MPA Academy also maintains its own distinguished flagship programs, and AMLP is one of them.  Since 2014, the MPA Academy has trained more than 220 maritime officials under its three flagship programmes; namely the Port Management Programme, Maritime Public Leaders’ Programme and the AMLP - the Academy’s apex programme for global maritime leadership training.   We note that some of our flagship programme alumni have been promoted to higher positions, for instance Ms Nancy Karigithu, who is now the Principal Secretary of the State Department for Maritime and Shipping Affairs, Kenya. We are also pleased to have a 3rd AMLP participant, Mr Md Salihin Aspar from Brunei, who was an alumni of the 6th MPLP and has since risen up the rank. We value these strong links with them as MPA Academy alumni. 

AMLP- A Global Maritime Leadership Programme 

7. The AMLP is the brainchild of MPA Academy – it is the “crème de la crème”, just as all of you are, the crème de la crème from your country.  In this third edition of the AMLP, I am happy to welcome Albania, Lao PDR, Liberia, Ukraine and Yemen who are attending in the MPA Academy’s flagship programme for the first time. The IMO is also represented at the AMLP for the first time following the positive feedback from the IMO representatives at the 8th Maritime Public Leaders’ Programme held last November. We welcome the IMO’s participation and support of MPA Academy’s programmes. 

8. A lot of effort is put into it to ensure that we bring to you relevant and updated topics that would be pertinent for your work in current context.  The AMLP program is also not static.  We evolve the program based on feedback and changing global maritime trends and industry needs.

9. We also recognise the importance of learning from the best. Tomorrow, we are honoured to have former Secretary-General of the IMO, Mr Koji Sekimizu, join us as our Guest Speaker. In 2016, MPA and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) appointed Mr Sekimizu as a RSIS-MPA Distinguished Visiting Fellow. He will be sharing his insights on maritime governance and how the regulatory framework of IMO instruments has shaped and impacted the maritime industry.  

10. We also have a team of observers from the IMO and World Maritime University (WMU in short) with us for the AMLP programme, to work with the MPA Academy on incorporating the element of National Maritime Transport Policy in future runs of the AMLP. We welcome the IMO and WMU to help us enhance the programme to be more robust and relevant for the senior maritime leaders. 

Conclusion and Thanks

11. In closing, I would like to make a special mention of thanks to Professor Annie Koh, Vice President at the Office of Business Development of the Singapore Management University for her outstanding efforts as key trainer of the AMLP since its inaugural run. I would also like to thank our maritime industry associates and lecturers for your time and effort in this programme. Our partnership will go a long way to drive a network of global maritime leadership training.  Let me also thank my own team from the MPA Academy for working tirelessly over the past months to bring this program to our participants today. 

12. To all our AMLP friends, I hope you will have an insightful program.  Make friends from among yourselves, learn from each other, and know that whenever you meet with a problem and need help, it is just a phone call away. Please also don’t forget to enjoy this charming country Singapore, though small, it has many gems in store, especially when it comes to food and shopping.  

13. Thank you.