Opening Remarks by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Transport, at the Launch of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore “Sea The Difference” Marketing Campaign Cum Year-End Appreciation Event

24 Nov 2023Speeches
1.     Ladies and Gentlemen, good evening.
2.     It is my pleasure to join you at MPA’s year-end appreciation event. 
3.     Singapore’s maritime sector and outlook for 2024 and beyond
4.     This evening, we celebrate and appreciate the strong and steadfast support of our Maritime Singapore stakeholders and partners. 
5.     The maritime sector forms the backbone of global trade and is the lifeblood of the world economy, with over 80% of the world’s cargo transported by sea. Beginning with our roots as an entrepot port, the maritime industry has been a crucial engine of Singapore’s growth over the years. 
6.     Today, Maritime Singapore is a thriving eco-system. As a leading international maritime centre, we are home to a diverse range of maritime businesses, including more than 170 international shipping groups, as well as other key maritime players in the areas of finance, insurance, cybersecurity, shipbroking, law and arbitration. 
7.     We are also proud to be the world’s busiest transshipment port, serving as a major gateway to international trade and commerce. In 2021 and 2022, we achieved record high container throughput. Singapore also continues to be the world’s top bunkering port. As we look towards the end of this year, the Port of Singapore is on track to closing the year with highs in terms of container throughput, bunker volumes, and gross tonnage for vessel arrivals. There is also growing gross tonnage of Singapore-registered vessels. 
8.     Even as we celebrate these successes, we need to be prepared to navigate challenges ahead. Global supply chain disruptions coupled with rising inflationary pressures and a volatile geopolitical outlook can potentially disrupt established maritime routes and trade flows. In this climate of uncertainty, it is ever more critical for Maritime Singapore to remain resilient and agile to weather the storm ahead.
9.     The maritime sector will also need to transform, to seize opportunities in digitalisation and sustainability. Talent is key to this – we must continue to attract individuals with the passion and skills to handle these new growth areas, so that our hub port and international maritime centre remain dynamic, competitive, and well-positioned to thrive in the years ahead. 
Attracting talent to Maritime Singapore 
9.     Early this year, MPA conducted a survey involving some 1,000 PMETs, students, and parents, to understand the sentiments and perceptions of the public on maritime. 66% of the respondents were aware of Singapore’s position as a global shipping hub, while 10% would consider a career in maritime.
10.    To better attract maritime talent, the Government, key maritime stakeholders, educational institutions and industry players need to work together to address misconceptions about the maritime sector. For example, we need to show that a maritime career involves many diverse and exciting opportunities beyond seafaring roles. We hope that with such sustained outreach efforts, more people will come to appreciate the dynamic opportunities and fulfilling careers that Maritime Singapore offers, and take up a maritime career. 
‘Sea the Difference’ campaign
11.    I am pleased to be here today to launch the ‘Sea the Difference’ campaign by MPA. ‘Sea the Difference’ has been designed to address prevailing misconceptions about the maritime industry, raise awareness of the diverse careers opportunities, and kindle interest in the sector. 
12.    I hope that the heartfelt stories in this campaign will highlight the many maritime career opportunities beyond seafaring roles and dispel the notion that having prior experience or industry-specific skills are essential to joining the industry. 
13.    There will be more content rolled out in the coming months to attract more youth and mid-careerists to the sector. 
14.    On behalf of MPA, I would like to thank our communications partners and stakeholders for your unwavering support through the years. We hope for your continued support as MPA rolls out its ‘Sea the Difference’ campaign on its social platforms. With your help, we can showcase the diverse and rewarding careers in maritime to a wider audience, and foster a vibrant and inclusive future maritime workforce.
15.    I am also glad to see some of our MaritimeSG Youth Ambassadors here with us in the audience today. I would like to thank each one of you for your passion, energy, and for being strong advocates for the maritime industry. Some of you have also brought your friends from other faculties today to introduce them to the maritime industry. For youths who are still unsure about your aspirations, I urge you to explore the wide range of maritime careers, where technology, sustainability, and innovation are shaping the future of this dynamic industry. Our Youth Ambassadors and MPA colleagues will be able to share more about the awards and scholarships available for you. 
16.    With that, I would like to kick off the campaign with a short film series. I invite you to sit back and experience ‘The Matchmaker’, to help you ’Sea the difference’.  
17.    Thank you.

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