Shipping and ports remain vital to the UK’s economic wellbeing and the UK Government is committed to working in partnership with the UK Maritime Sector as it looks to deliver the continued growth that “everyone wants but should expect as the UK emerges from the economic downturn”.
This was the message delivered by John Hayes, UK Shipping Minister, at an event to launch London International Shipping Week 2015.
Addressing over 130 shipping industry leaders, the Minister said: “They [shipping and ports] are the engine of our economy – powering growth, trade and jobs. I saw this with my own eyes during my first visit as a DfT Minister to the Port of London Authority. It was inspiring to witness the diverse range of maritime business that takes place on the Thames and to develop a deeper understanding of the ports sector.”
Welcoming the return of London International Shipping week in 2015, the Minister said the event would offer a fantastic opportunity to discuss, at senior international level, the key strategic challenges faced by the sector today and tomorrow as well as demonstrate the value of industry and Government working closely together in true partnership. LISW2015 would help to establish new relationships and contacts across the industry and from Governments across globe; and look to the future to ensure that Governments and Industry work together to harness the power of emerging technologies to deliver a bright and successful future for the maritime sector, he stressed.
“I look forward to September 2015. Look forward to the whole of the UK Maritime sector demonstrating our world beating industries and I look forward to working with you all over the coming months to deliver an outstanding London International Shipping Week 2015,” he said.
London International Shipping Week 2015 will take place from September 7 to 11 throughout London with some UK regional events also being staged to highlight the strength and breadth of the UK’s maritime sector. Leaders from every sector of the global shipping industry will descend on London during the week to take part in influential meetings, seminars and functions, culminating in a high level industry shipping conference and spectacular gala dinner.
More than 100 industry functions will provide a unique set of opportunities for leaders across all sectors of the international shipping industry and associated businesses including regulators, charterers, ship owners, ship managers, bunker suppliers, commodity traders and brokers, ship suppliers, port operators, insurers and shipping service providers.
Addressing invited guests at the LISW2015 launch event, Jeremy Penn, CEO of The Baltic Exchange and Chairman of the LISW Steering Group, underlined the importance of Government and industry working together as shipping looks to shape itself to meet the demands of the next decade.
He said: “It is all about innovation in shipping but this can only be achieved if there is joined up partnership between industry and Government. We want LISW2015, and the conference in particular, to help people think about the shape of shipping in 10 years’ time.”
John Hayes added: “As you all are well aware, the sector contributes up to £14bn to the UK economy and provides a myriad of opportunities for employment and investment. It is a testament to the vitality of the sector that throughout the economic down turn, employment in shipping continued to grow from 73,000 jobs in 2004 to 146,000 in 2011 – a 100% increase.
“The United Kingdom is the preeminent centre for maritime business services. We should be rightly proud that so much of the world turns to the UK for its ship broking, legal services, insurance and maritime intelligence [to name but a few]. These businesses embody the best qualities of what it means to be British – delivering unparalleled, trusted and valuable services to customers throughout the world,” he said.
It is only with the commitment of Government and industry working together that “we can deliver growth. I want to personally assure you that the importance of the UK Maritime Sector and working in partnership is recognised at the highest levels of Her Majesty’s Government,” he told the launch reception.