Issue Seven – January 2013
2012 has been a highly challenging period for many maritime companies, given the inherent volatile nature of our industry and its close links to the global economy. Depreciating freight rates, narrowing cash flow and limited access to liquidity have resulted in many companies, especially those in the container shipping and dry bulk sectors, streamlining their operations and adopting restructuring moves to ensure their commercial viability.

In view of the current global economic climate, the pace of growth of the Singapore maritime industry will slow down, as with the other industries. However, Singapore is blessed in many ways. The unique tripartite partnership between the government, maritime players and maritime associations, coupled with efficient governance and accessible infrastructure, will allow us to forge new synergies and open up business possibilities in spite of the challenging times. Our strategic geographical location and strong business links with our neighbouring countries and global partners will allow Singapore to capitalise on the growing maritime trade in this region in time to come and strengthen our standing as a leading international maritime centre.

SMF strives to serve the maritime community and steer the Singapore maritime industry forward, both good times and bad. 2013 looks set to be an eventful and exciting year for us. From 9 to 11 April, the fourth edition of our flagship event, the Sea Asia show, will be held at the Marina Bay Sands (MBS). The three-day event seeks to attract more than 14,000 maritime leaders and participants to Singapore. We are pleased to announce that the opening ceremomy of Sea Asia 2013 will be graced by Guest-of-Honour, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Come June, together with the Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI), SMF will lead a contingent of Singapore-based maritime-related companies to partake in the leading maritime event, Nor-Shipping in Oslo, Norway as part of its international outreach efforts. The Singapore Pavilion will allow us to present the maritime capabilities and services that Singapore has to offer to our global partners. Norwegian and global maritime leaders can look forward to the highly anticipated Singapore Nite event, a networking function where guests are treated to authentic Singapore cuisine.

Nurturing talents continues to be a key endeavour of SMF. Since the inaugural MaritimeONE Scholarship Awards Ceremony in 2007, a total of 118 scholarships, valued at more than $3.2 million dollars, have been From the Chairman’s Desk awarded to outstanding and deserving students to pursue maritime and non-maritime related courses in Singapore and overseas. We hope that more maritime partners will pledge your support to the MaritimeONE scholarship programme so that we can continue to grow the maritime talent pool in Singapore.

I would also like to use this opportunity to congratulate Mr David Chin, Executive Director of SMF for clinching the ASMI Gold Award during the ASMI Anniversary Dinner held in October 2012. For those who know David, you would agree that he is well-deserving of this award, given his years of exemplary contributions to the maritime community, his wealth of expertise and his deep passion for this industry.

To all our working partners and sponsors, thank you for your ardent support and we look forward to your continued support.

We look forward to your continued support, as always.

With best wishes,

Michael Chia
Singapore Maritime Foundation