By Binsal Abdulkader
ABU DHABI, 2nd June, 2022 (WAM) -- Singapore is keen to collaborate with the UAE on digitalisation and decarbonisation in the maritime industry, a top executive told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
"Singapore and the UAE enjoy very strong bilateral relations; we are both [maritime] hubs in different regions of the world and it is our role to ensure that whatever ships that cross in Singapore and the UAE, we are able to handle the different types of challenges, moving forward," said Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.
"Therefore, we are really looking forward to collaborating with the UAE in digitalisation and decarbonisation," she added in an interview with WAM on the sidelines of 7th Edition of Ports Authorities Roundtable (PAR 2022) in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Three key areas
Digitalisation is one of the three key areas that will help the maritime industry face some important challenges, Ley Hoon noted. Through digitalisation, "we ensure that different parties are able to connect with one another, not just on port clearance but also on cargo clearance, allowing the goods to flow in a more seamless manner," she explained.
The second one, of course, is the effort of decarbonisation, the CEO said.
"It is important that the maritime industry further reduces emissions and works towards the IMO [International Maritime Organisation] goals of 2050. We need to look at what's the future ship, what's the type of ship that we can cater for in future," she explained, referring to the IMO's initial greenhouse gas (GHG) strategy that envisages reducing the total annual GHG emissions from international shipping by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2008.
Ley Hoon said the industry should be able to handle new fuels such as ammonia, hydrogen, and biofuel, which would help the decarbonisation efforts.
The third key area is handling the disruption as it happened during the global pandemic, she pointed out. The industry has to come together to ensure that goods continue to flow uninterrupted in the event of a public health issue or a similar challenge, the CEO said.
Ports Authorities Roundtable
Ley Hoon said all the key challenges facing the industry are being discussed at the Ports Authorities Roundtable (PAR 2022), a major annual maritime event that brings together port authorities from around the world to strengthen consensus and cooperation in the industry.
"We look forward to a successful conclusion of the roundtable. It is really important for us to come up with ideas, especially in the areas of decarbonisation and digitalisation. There are a lot of question marks now when it comes to global trade, global shipping and global maritime, and I hope that through this roundtable we are able to move forward."