Image caption: Maritime Minister the Rt Hon John Hayes MP OBE opens ABP’s event at Somerset House
High ranking officials from the United States Maritime Administration and Chinese investors interested in the UK’s maritime sector mingled with Government ministers and senior civil servants at a series of flagship events facilitated by ABP at the heart of London International Shipping Week.
Titled UK Ports and Maritime: Unlocking a Global Opportunity, the event hosted by ABP with the American Embassy and the Department for Transport looked at the future of maritime trade.
As well as bilateral discussions, the event saw presentations on securing free trade deals; Free Trade Zones; and international trade security and resilience. Speakers included Professor David Collins, Professor of International Law at City University and a renowned expert on free trade deals, and Rishi Sunak MP.
Maritime Minister the Rt Hon John Hayes MP OBE opened ABP’s event at Somerset House.
He said: “I am delighted to have opened this important conference and listen to numerous good ideas on how our ports can continue to support prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic. “London International Shipping Week is the most special and extraordinary promotional opportunity for the UK maritime industry in recent history. “For us to seize the promise and the opportunities after our exit from the EU we must draw on our glorious past, by rejuvenating our heritage to once again be a truly global, seafaring, trading nation.”
Later, ABP’s American guests and their UK counterparts had lunch at the House of Commons and heard from Lucy Chadwick, Director General of the DfT’s International, Security and Environment Group.
Working in partnership with the Department for International Trade and Maritime UK, ABP supported LISW’s International Maritime Xchange event, which also took place at Somerset House.
The Xchange introduced international investors, including several delegations from China, to aspects of the UK’s world-class maritime sector. The event also saw the media launch of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship project to recreate the famed voyage of the Pilgrim fathers from Plymouth to New England only with an entirely autonomous vessel.
ABP Chief Executive James Cooper hailed the events as evidence of a “powerful partnership” between business and Government.
“This is a fantastic example of business and government working together to deliver for the UK’s maritime sector,” he said. “It’s called London International Shipping Week for a reason and so we were determined to ensure it delivers on its international ambitions by linking up with two of the UK’s key trade partners in the United States and China.
“Ports and maritime represent a major global opportunity for the UK economy; an opportunity for Britain to increase its trade with countries throughout the world,” said Mr Cooper.
“Today, through the success of these events, we’ve demonstrated another way we can make a valuable contribution.”
Earlier in the week ABP had held a joint event for 250 guests at London’s City Hall with the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association.
Note to editors:
ABP is the UK’s leading ports operator with 21 ports and other transport related businesses creating a unique national network capable of handling a vast array of cargo.
ABP contributes £5.6 billion to the UK economy every year and supports 84,000 jobs. Our current investment programme promises to deliver an extra £1.75 billion for the economy every year.
ABP’s Port of Southampton is the UK’s largest export port, handling more than £40 billion of goods each year, with £36 billion of that destined for markets outside the EU.
• Handles over 1.5 million vehicles every year
• Generates around one quarter of the UK’s rail freight
• Has 1.4 million square metres of covered storage
• Has 1,000 hectares of open storage
• Handles around 90m tonnes of cargo each year
• Owns 5,000 hectares of port estate
• Has 87km of quay
Our five year investment programme is worth £1 billion. Our investment is designed to respond to the needs of our customers whose business relies on our ports for access to international and, in some cases, domestic markets.
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