Singapore focuses on innovation, collaboration, talent to strengthen maritime industry

During his speech at the Singapore Maritime Week 2022 opening ceremony on April 4, Singapore Minister for Transport S Iswaran said that to succeed in the transformation of the maritime sector to meet current challenges, Singapore must focus on the essential elements of continuous innovation, boundaryless collaboration and strong talent development. He added that the endeavor requires partnership across countries, and between the public and private sectors. 

Iswaran said the pandemic and geopolitical developments have disrupted supply chains and left a profound and lasting impact. 

“Value chains are becoming more flexible and regional, as countries and companies increasingly rebalance production to adopt a blend of “just-in-time” and “just-in-case” models.

“In tandem, the maritime sector is facing other challenges and constraints – in terms of capacity, manpower and carbon emissions. Taken together, these forces herald a sea change for the maritime industry. 

“All stakeholders, from companies to governments, must respond decisively to ensure the maritime sector’s reliability, resilience and readiness for the future. It calls for nothing less than a transformation of the industry.

Continuous innovation is key to attaining new heights in performance and capabilities of the ports and beyond to the wider maritime ecosystem.  Continuous innovation enables Singapore to harness technologies like maritime autonomous ships, additive manufacturing (3D printing) and blockchain for supply chain resilience, as well as drones for the efficient transport of supplies in order to transform the industry.

Iswaran said that the pandemic showed how intricately interconnected we are as a global community and that it is only by collaborating across boundaries that we can address the common challenges that confront the maritime industry.  Importantly too, strong talent development underpins the transformation of the maritime industry, as technology evolves, the nature of jobs will change and the workforce will have to be future-ready and well-endowed with the skills to meet the new demands.

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).  Singapore Minister for Transport S Iswaran.

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