The 17th Singapore Maritime Week (SMW 2023) closed this week after one of its most successful editions ever, comprising nearly 50 separate events over the period 24-28 April. Themed ‘Ambition Meets Action’, it focused on initiatives to accelerate digitalisation and decarbonisation of the maritime industry.
SMW 2023 was officially launched by Mr S Iswaran, Singapore’s Minister for Transport and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations. Speaking at the Opening Ceremony (pictured), he emphasised three areas of ambition for continued growth and success in the maritime industry: ensuring steady progress for maritime decarbonisation, aligning international standards in the move towards greater digitalisation, and redoubling efforts to attract and nurture talent.
IMO Secretary-General Mr Kitack LIM delivered the keynote address at the opening ceremony. He highlighted that IMO Member States are currently actively engaged in upgrading IMO’s Strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from international shipping by July this year, adding that collaboration, information-sharing, and capacity-building were key to ensuring that no one is left behind in the push for decarbonisation, where he said Member States needed boldness to elevate their level of vision and ambition.
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the IMO Convention and 25th anniversary of the IMO-Singapore MoU on the Third Country Training Programme, Mr Iswaran announced that Singapore will pledge a new enhanced technical co-operation and training package of USD 5 million for the 2024 to 2028 period comprising fellowships, scholarships, workshops, and courses for IMO and its Member States, with the initial USD 2 million committed for 2024 and 2025.
The Minister also congratulated Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation Hub, the winner of the Singapore-IMO NextGEN Connect Challenge, on its proposal titled ‘Development of a Route-Based Action Plan Methodology based upon the Silk Alliance’. He added that Singapore and the IMO were looking forward to working with them, as well as other stakeholders in the Silk Alliance on the implementation of their plans.
Co-organised by the MPA, the IMO NextGEN Connect Challenge was launched at the SMW last year as an invitation for submissions to develop a robust methodology that stakeholders could use to develop specific, route-based action plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between specific points along a shipping route in the Asia Pacific region. The LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub will now work with the MPA and IMO with the aim of generating a spill-over effect of knowledge, capability and investment gained from LR’s Singapore-based Silk Alliance green corridor cluster and First Mover Framework methodology into the wider region, thereby also helping Less Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Asia Pacific.
Underscoring the importance of partnerships and Singapore’s commitment to decarbonise and digitalise the maritime industry, MPA also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) during the week with the Port of Los Angeles (POLA), and Port of Long Beach (POLB), with the support of C40 Cities, to establish a green and digital shipping corridor (GDSC) between Singapore and the San Pedro Bay port complex. It also signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with 8eightclass societies, all Recognised Organisations of the Singapore Registry of Ships, to collaborate on digitalisation and decarbonisation, and an MOU with Wärtsilä Group to do the same.
Anchor events held during the week included the MarineTech conference and Sea Asia exhibition, as well as MPA’s 2nd Accelerating Decarbonisation Conference.