As a small country highly dependent on international trade, the maritime sector is a critical pillar which supports Singapore’s economic development.
Together with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), we aim to develop and promote our premier global hub port and international maritime centre, as well as advance and safeguard Singapore’s maritime interests. This helps to increase the sector’s potential as a growth engine for the economy, providing jobs and business opportunities.
Singapore is the busiest container transhipment port in the world in terms of tonnage, with more than 130,000 vessel calls annually. It is also the top bunkering port in the world. Sitting at the centre of trade routes and connected to more than 600 ports in over 120 countries, Singapore offers businesses and shipping lines seamless global trade connectivity, as well as a breadth and range of maritime services that few can match, including pilotage, towage, fresh water supply, crew changes and ship supplies.
Given Singapore’s strategic position along shipping routes, as well as its diverse ecosystem of maritime services such as ship management, agency, finance, insurance, broking and surveying, Singapore is well placed as a gateway for maritime companies to do business in the Asia-Pacific region. Over 5,000 maritime establishments and businesses, including more than 140 international shipping groups and a varied range of maritime service providers, have their offices in Singapore.
Singapore has been ranked the leading maritime city by Menon Economics since its inaugural “Leading Maritime Cities of the World” biannual report in 2012. Likewise, the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index, an annual independent ranking of the world’s largest cities that offer port and shipping business services, has awarded Singapore the title of top International Shipping Centre since the start of the rankings in 2014.
Given the importance of the sector to Singapore, we work actively with international organisations to promote our maritime interests. Singapore has been a Council Member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialised United Nations agency overseeing the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of pollution by ships, since 1993.
It is also a Council Member of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), which ensures that seas are properly surveyed and charted, and the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), which improves and harmonises aids to navigation worldwide.
Closer to home, Singapore belongs to regional platforms such as the Co-operative Mechanism on Safety of Navigation and Environmental Protection of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
Singapore is also a Contracting Party to the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP). The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre has been hosted in Singapore since its inception in 2006, disseminating information and co-ordinating activities among the 21 contracting parties, including countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, and the United States.