Maritime industry stands tall at SMW 2024: ‘No shipping, no shopping!’

‘No shipping, no shopping!’ Mr. Arsenio Dominguez, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), aptly summarized the immense significance of the maritime industry. The industry which transports 90 percent of goods around the globe and is the backbone of all commerce, stood tall through SMW 2024.

Last week, over 10,000 leaders from the international industry, government officials, innovators, and researchers convened at Suntec City in Singapore for the Singapore Maritime Week 2024 to discuss critical issues such as decarbonization and digitalization. Throughout the week, with ongoing dialogue and networking, there was a notable sense of optimism about the industry’s future.

Great potential for collaboration

Team Norway in Singapore played a leading role and made a significant impact throughout the week, spearheaded by Mr. Even Tronstad Sagebakken, Norway’s Deputy Minister for Trade, Industry, and Fisheries. On Monday, the Norwegian Embassy in Singapore organized an excellent program for the inaugural Singapore Norway Maritime Business Forum. Both Mr. Chee Hong Tat, Singapore’s Minister for Transport, and Deputy Minister Sagebakken emphasized the strong foundation of trust between Norway and Singapore and the great potential for even more collaboration and business within the green shift.

Praise of Norwegian diverse and inclusive approach 

A highlight of the business forum was the keynote by the energetic and ambitious Mr. Arsenio Dominguez, newly appointed Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization. He focused on safety concerns related to alternative fuels and stressed the importance of collaborative action with partners like Singapore and Norway to address decarbonization goals. He expressed gratitude for the support and collaboration of both countries, underscoring the significance of initiatives like the Green Maritime Corridors project in advancing sustainable maritime development. Additionally, he voiced strong support for Norway’s gender equality strategy and reaffirmed his dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion within the maritime sector.

Clear demand on carbon pricing

In the panel discussion, Ms. Helene Tofte, Executive Director of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, Department of International Cooperation and Climate, issued a very clear challenge to Mr. Dominguez and the IMO regarding the need for the IMO to establish a carbon pricing system by 2025. Carbon pricing is crucial in combating climate change by ensuring polluters pay, making cleaner options more affordable, and directing funds towards climate initiatives.

However, the IMO faces significant obstacles in establishing a global carbon pricing system. These challenges include the complexity of the maritime industry, resistance from within the industry fearing increased costs and lost competitiveness, varied national climate priorities, and disagreements over the system’s design—whether it should be a global carbon tax, an emissions trading scheme, or a market-based approach using emissions credits.

Talking with the the startups

On the last day of SMW 2024, the Norwegian Business Association Singapore (NBAS) led the annual Singapore-Norway Maritime Matchmaking Event along with the rest of Team Norway, PIER71, and MPA. This event provided a fertile ground for startups, corporates, and venture capitalists seeking to create new business prospects centered on sustainable maritime innovation.

As Pierre C Sames, Senior Vice President, Strategic Development Director from event sponsor DNV put it, “This is the session where we move from talking about startups to talking with them.”

Nearly 60 participants from innovative startups, major industry players, and VC firms met in a Round Robin matchmaking event.

Excellent introductions from Erik Dyrkoren, Zeabuz, who provided firsthand insight into the challenging and rewarding journey as a startup in the maritime decarbonization space, and superstars from the industry investment environment, Shaun Hon from Motion Ventures and Axel de Mégille from Stolt Venture set the stage for a very fruitful session.

Alternative marine fuels and decarbonizing harbor craft technologies

The Norwegian contribution to SMW 2024 concluded with the Singapore-Norway Industry Workshop, which Innovation Norway led in partnership with the Singapore Shipping Association’s newly formed decarbonization committee.

Norwegian companies and the Singaporean partners explored potential new business collaborations. They had a special focus on alternative marine fuels and decarbonizing harbor craft technologies – pivotal discussions that have the potential to seed future business collaboration, not least through the new Norwegian Green Maritime Support Programme.

Pleas read: Yinson GreenTech partners with Eastern Pacific Shipping for electric vessel trials – NBAS

EyeGauge – transforming any vessel into a smart ship

EyeGauge – transforming any vessel into a smart ship At the Singapore Norway Maritime Matchmaking ...

Assentiri: Simplifying shipping transactions

We are pleased to welcome Mr. Torgeir Willumsen, Founder and CEO of Assentiri, to the ...

Wilhelmsen Ship Management: Comprehensive Vessel and Marine Services

We warmly welcome Mr. Radoslaw Walczak, VP Technical at Wilhelmsen Ship Management, to the matchmaking ...

DTN highlights weather data strategy for shipping efficiency 

On April 19, the Singapore Norway Maritime Matchmaking event will feature DTN’s expertise in weather ...

Altera Infrastructure invites collaboration on sustainable shipping and CO2 capture initiatives

At the Singapore Norway Maritime Matchmaking on April 19th, you will meet Altera Infrastructure, an ...

BetterSea: FuelEU marketplace & emission network solutions

At the Singapore Norway Maritime Matchmaking event on April 19, BetterSea will introduce its two new ...

Featured photo: SMW/Nutgraf