The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will host the 37th ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group Meeting (MTWG) from 5 to 7 March 2019.
In his opening address at the 37th MTWG, Calvin Phua, Deputy Secretary (Hub Strategy), Ministry of Transport, said that he was heartened by the progress of the projects undertaken by the MTWG.
He encouraged the ASEAN Member States to press on with efforts to improve maritime connectivity in ASEAN and to promote safe and sustainable shipping.
He also expressed his appreciation to ASEAN’s dialogue partners and the IMO for their contribution to the development of the maritime transport sector in ASEAN.
The MTWG is the principal coordinating and implementing arm of the ASEAN Senior Transport Officials Meeting (STOM) that advances maritime transport-related programmes, projects and activities under the Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan 2016-2025 (KLTSP).
The KLTSP is a 10-year masterplan for the ASEAN transport sector aimed at enhancing regional economic integration.
This is the third MTWG Meeting that MPA will be hosting during Singapore’s chairmanship of the MTWG from 2018 to 2019.
ASEAN Single Shipping Market
At the 37th MTWG, the 10 ASEAN Member States will continue to enhance regional cooperation on issues such as the establishment of the ASEAN Single Shipping Market, developing the ASEAN roll-on/roll off (RO-RO) shipping network, and improving navigational safety and protection of the marine environment through effective implementation of global shipping regulations under the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The development of an ASEAN Single Shipping Market (ASSM) will lead towards a stronger ASEAN maritime sector and is consistent with the ASEAN Leaders’ commitment in the Bali Concord II of October 2003, to develop ASEAN as a single market and production base.
The ASSM will also contribute towards transforming ASEAN into the region with free movement of goods, services, investment, capital and skilled labour.
Once operationalised, the ASEAN Single Shipping Market is expected to lead to the free flow of intra-ASEAN shipping services, where there will be no restriction to ASEAN shipping services, where there will be substantially no restriction to ASEAN shipping service suppliers in providing services and in establishing companies across national borders within to the region, subject to domestic regulations.
The chairmanship of the MTWG is rotated amongst the ASEAN Member States on a biennial basis. Singapore is chairing the MTWG for a two-year term from 2018 to 2019, and will hand over the chairmanship to Thailand in 2020.