01 March 2021

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1     Good day to all of you from different time zones. Today, we are pleased to welcome 18 of you to the 10th Maritime Public Leaders’ Programme or MPLP – 18 senior maritime officials from the Pacific Islands and Asia. We would have loved to welcome you in Singapore, as we have done in the past, but due to the travel restrictions, we are not able to invite you to visit Singapore in person this year. I recalled at the last MPLP, I had very rich interactions with the participants and made good friends.

2     We would like to thank the governments of participating countries for their continued support and confidence in our leadership programmes. We are also pleased to have with us Ms Josephine Uranza, the IMO Regional Coordinator for East Asia, who is joining us for the programme.

MPA Academy

3     Since many of you would be attending a program from the MPA Academy for the first time, let me share more on MPAA and its programmes.

4     MPAA is a full-fledged academy with a focus on global maritime leadership training. MPAA conducts a range of flagship training programs and collaborates with established training institutions to run courses to support training needs of IMO.

5     The MPLP is one such programme. Since its launch in 2011, the MPLP has trained more than 180 senior maritime officials from around 90 countries around the world.

6     Why do we invest in such maritime leadership training and capacity building? This is because we believe in bringing together key decision makers and leaders like yourselves to discuss key issues and forge common consensus moving forward.  Through the teachings of methodologies, we move forward together.

7     Besides MPLP, MPAA has two other flagship programmes – Advanced Maritime Leaders’ Programme and the Port Management Programme. Today, we have more than 350 in our alumni, including many heads of maritime administrations.

The Importance of Levelling-Up by Training through the New Normal

8     Due to COVID-19, these learnings are made even more important. We need to be more agile and responsive than before.

9     The maritime industry remains resilient and is in deep transformation. It is a dynamic sector and is not static. It will change. As leaders, not only must we be ready to pivot, we need to prepare our team to face these new challenges. Upskilling is no longer simply seen as the pathway to success, it has evolved into an imperative need and crucial for survival. I believe the MPLP would be a wonderful opportunity to consolidate, look ahead, and strategise.

10th Maritime Public Leaders’ Programme (MPLP)

10    Through the course of this programme, you will have a glimpse into the multiple roles MPA play as National Maritime Representative and as the authority in port regulations, planning, and promotion.

11    This programme will also cover topics such as shipping economics, digitalisation in the maritime industry, public leadership, and governance. We will also share our experiences in digitalisation and sustainability.

12    We are very pleased to partner the Nanyang Technological University to ensure that the MPLP curriculum delivers content in breadth and depth. NTU is a top world ranking university and a reputable one in Singapore, that offers maritime studies at the undergraduate and post-graduate level. We are also pleased to have Prof Jasmine Lam, Centre Director of Maritime Energy & Sustainable Development Centre of Excellence at NTU – which has done much good research on sustainability and future fuels, as the programme director for the 10th year.

Singapore Maritime Week

13    Singapore will continue to drive maritime leadership training to meet the current and future needs of IMO Member States. This April, Singapore will be holding our annual Singapore Maritime Week with many exciting events and seminars. During which, we are working with IMO to organise our “Future of Shipping Conference”. We hope all of you will be able to join us virtually and we will provide more information closer to the date.


14    You are our first batch of online participants. We hope that you will be able to make full use of your time to learn from one another, build up each other, and forge good relationships. Ask as many questions as you like. After all, we are gathered with participants and lecturers from diverse backgrounds and a wealth of experience. I wish all of you a fruitful learning experience. Thank you.