Receiving his award from sponsor Ravindranath Raghunath, Global Head of Chartering, Noble Chartering, Mr Phoon said: “I am very honoured to have received this award. I could not have accomplished what I did without the support of so many people out there who unselfishly, shared their passion, their thoughts and their experiences with me. More than that, they gave me their friendship to which I am most grateful.”
Mr Phoon has played a pivotal role in the development of the Singapore Shipping Association and is credited with the title of the Association’s longest serving Council member to date. His enthusiasm for the SSA and its activities has remained undiminished even after 23 years, since he was first elected to its Council in 1991.
In 1996 he headed the Restructuring Committee to pave the way for the formation of the ‘new’ SSA to support Singapore’s vision as an International Maritime Centre; and in 2005, he headed the working group involved in the purchase of the SSA office building, to name just two of his key achievements. Besides the SSA, Patrick is also a very active member of the shipping community and sits on numerous local and regional industry committees and workgroups.
Mr Phoon is a strong advocate of the need for the Asian voice to be heard more in global shipping. Accepting that the Asian way of doing things “is very different from the European way”, he contends that the time has come for Asian shipping to voice its views more strongly.
“I would like to see Asian shipping given more of its fair share; the weak point in Asia is that we never like to be too vocal and it is time we change this stance. Keeping quiet and letting others take action is not a sustainable position for Asian ship owners moving forward and Asian countries’ active participation at IMO is a vital part of that process.”
On the local front, Mr Phoon has been a Board Member of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore since 2011. At the Singapore Maritime Foundation, he was on its Advisory Panel from 2004-2009 and has been a Board Member since 2010. Moving further afield, he sits on the Executive Committee of the Federation of ASEAN Shipowners’ Associations and serves as Chairman of the Safe Navigation and Environment Committee, one of the five committees under the auspices of the Asian Shipowners’ Forum. Mr Phoon is one of the key members to successfully lobby for the Asian Shipowners’ Forum to set up its permanent secretariat in Singapore.
Mr Phoon’s shipping career has spanned over 40 years and since 1980, he has been handling Evergreen Marine Corp’s interest in Singapore. He is presently Deputy Managing Director of Evergreen Shipping Agency (S) and Director of RTW Group of Companies.