The British Government will “pull out all the stops to keep the UK a world-leading maritime centre,” working in partnership with industry as well as investing in technology, skills and training to ensure maritime growth.
These were the key messages as the Government outlined its plans to keep the UK at the forefront of the global shipping market during last week’s successful London International Shipping Week (LISW15 September 7-11). LISW was also pleased to enjoy the patronage of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.
Delivering the keynote speech at the flagship LISW Conference, The Right Honourable Greg Hands, MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “My very simple message today is that the British Government will pull out all the stops to keep the UK a world-leading maritime centre.”
Highlights of the week, which demonstrated the Government’s commitment to the UK’s maritime sector, included an international round table meeting at 10 Downing Street hosted by the Rt Hon Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport; the launch of the Maritime Growth Study which set out how government will work in partnership with industry to boost maritime growth; a welcome Reception at Lancaster House attended by HRH The Princess Royal; a reception, jointly hosted by the Department for Transport and the Ministry of Defence, onboard HMS Portland to celebrate international maritime partnership.
Speaking during a LISW Conference panel discussion moderated by the BBC’s Emily Maitlis, Robert Goodwill MP, Minister for Shipping & Ports, said: “The best way we can support the shipping industry is by supporting the free operation of the market,” adding that this partnership approach has been central to the Maritime Growth Study, published by Alderman the Lord Mountevans of Chelsea, Chairman of Maritime UK.
Central to the Maritime Growth Study is the recommendation that a Ministerial Working Group for Maritime Growth be formed. The Government revealed it is already taking this recommendation forward and the Secretary of State will chair its first meeting. This working group will drive forward the recommendations made by the Maritime Growth Study, in parallel to the recommendations made for industry.
In his speech at the closing Gala Dinner, Mr McLoughlin told representatives from throughout the international shipping industry: “What really makes this industry unique is its global reach. This industry transcends national boundaries, national governments and national economies.”
He continued: “That’s why this week is so important. We’ve been showing what London and the UK can offer. Efficient global trade needs strong and competitive maritime centres like London to access the full range of services and expertise. We’re very proud to be a one-stop-shop for the global maritime industry.”