Minister On International Shipping Conference

November 22, 2015

In the House of Assembly on Friday [Nov 20], Minister of Tourism Development and Transport Shawn Crockwell provided an update on his trip to the UK to attend the London Shipping Week Conference.

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise this morning to update this Honorable House on my recent travels to the UK in September, to attend the London Shipping Week [LSW 2015] Conference September 7th to the 11th, along with the Bermuda Business Development Agency and the Bermuda Shipping Industry Partners to promote the Bermuda Shipping Registry and the Bermuda brand.

Mr. Speaker, it was very encouraging to see representatives from a number of leading Bermuda Law firms, Bermuda shipping companies, ship managers, Marine Insurance companies, the Bermuda International Shipping Association [BISA] and the ship owners from the UK and Europe who have theirs ships under the Bermuda Shipping Registry participating in the event.

Mr. Speaker, during the last Red Ensign Group [REG] conference which was held in Bermuda in June 2015 the subject of promotion of the REG registries was discussed in view of the stagnation of the REG fleet for a number of years while other registries such as Marshall Islands, Panama, Singapore, Liberia, Hong Kong, Bahamas were growing rapidly.

During the discussion it was identified /recognized that although the REG registries had very high standards and an excellent reputation, very little had been done for the promotion of the REG registries as a group or individually, when compared to most of the other leading registries which were actively engaged in ambitious marketing and promotional activities.

It was decided during the conference that as a group all the British Registries will get together and pursue a promotional campaign to attract the ship owners to the REG registries and the ’London Shipping Week 2015’ chosen as the spring board for the promotional programme.

Mr. Speaker, I attended the London International Shipping Week 2015 Welcome Reception given by the UK Minister of Shipping on Behalf of the UK Government, along with the Permanent Secretary and the Chief Surveyor of the Bermuda Shipping Registry. This was an invitation only event which was hosted by the UK Secretary of State [shipping] for the REG members to meet with the UK and International dignitaries and the Shipping community.

I had the opportunity to meet with the Minister of Shipping and exchange our interests. This occasion was graced by the Princess Royal Ann who delivered a speech which recognized contribution and efforts by the REG in promoting the British shipping registries.

Mr. Speaker, the activities of the conference was spread across the greater London area different organizations conducting seminars and presentations on varied subjects such as ship building, ship equipment, maritime education and training, maritime welfare, Marine environment, ship financing, maritime law and arbitration, marine money, marine insurance, International trade and shipping etc; I particularly attended the Conference Programme which was held at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

The speakers comprised of Professors of Economics, Maritime Law, Banking and Financing, practicing ship owners, the Secretary – General of the IMO, the Minister for Transport, Republic of Singapore, President of Shipping and Maritime Shell International Trading. I found their presentations very informative and contained a wealth of cutting edge information which is very relevant to the current global economic environment.

Mr. Speaker, in the evening of 9th September the REG held a reception at Ince and Co LLP, a law firm which serves all REG members. Most of the arrangements for the reception, the guest list and the invitations were handled by the Director and her staff at our Bermuda London Office and the UK based Surveyors of the Bermuda Maritime Administration.

It was attended by the UK Minister of Shipping and High Level Civil Servants, the ship owners and the clients of the REG registers. The REG reception also sponsored a fund raising event for the International Mission to the Seafarers and raised over GBP 4000 for the cause.

Mr. Speaker, Bermuda ship owners from the UK, Norway, Sweden, Greece, Italy, Hong Kong and USA who had been invited for the reception by the DMA were present at this reception and I had the opportunity to talk to them and thank them for their attendance.

Mr. Speaker, I feel honored to have had the privilege of attending the London Shipping Week 2015, which was an eye opener that enabled me to understand the enormity and complexity of the shipping industry and the opportunities it offers to Bermuda.

The Government and the Industry must continue to work in partnership to leverage opportunities to our jurisdictional advantage.

Thank You

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