UK Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani MP outlines some of the key features London International Shipping Week visitors can look forward to this year.
As Maritime Minister I count myself privileged to represent an industry that excites, inspires and astounds in equal measure. There can be few other sectors that provide such an immense contribution to our country.
Maritime not only supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, transports 95% of our exports and imports and adds £14.5 billion to our economy every year. It is also our gateway to the world, enabling international trade and friendships to flourish.
It is only right that we celebrate every aspect of this extraordinary industry – from our thriving ports and respected flag to maritime’s passionate and committed workforce – including, of course, ABP employees.
I’m therefore delighted that at London International Shipping Week (LISW), we have the opportunity to showcase everything UK maritime has to offer to the world. This year’s event is outstanding, as it includes talks by experts from every sphere of the industry – covering everything from port infrastructure, trade and green finance to offshore energy.
It’s also a chance to underline how, thanks to our trusted legal system, modern regulatory framework and geographical position, the UK is the natural place to do maritime business.
But LISW is not only a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the very best of the UK maritime industry.
“Thanks to our trusted legal system, modern regulatory framework and geographical position, the UK is the natural place to do maritime business.”
This is also very much a global event. LISW 2019 will welcome 20,000 guests from across the world, as well as over 150 international maritime organisations to London – impressive figures that clearly demonstrate how this country is open for business.
Together, we will spend the week exploring this year’s theme, ‘Global Trade in a Changing World’. It’s an apt title, reflecting the challenges shifts in trade, technological and geopolitical trends could pose for maritime in the coming years.
But it’s a theme that also evokes the new horizons that will open up for the sector, as we leave the European Union and forge a new path in the world.
Whatever the future holds – the UK Government will support the maritime industry every step of the way.
Earlier this year we demonstrated this long term commitment with the launch of our Maritime 2050 strategy – our vision for the sector over the next three decades.
It sets out how we will ready the industry for the challenges and opportunities of the years to come.
"This is also very much a global event. LISW 2019 will welcome 20,000 guests from across the world, as well as over 150 international maritime organisations to London.”
In addition, the Clean Maritime Plan, launched by the Government in July, explains our plans to enable the industry to meet its environmental obligations over the years ahead. It also describes how we will turn this country into a hub for green maritime technologies.
The importance of nurturing and harnessing innovation is a common theme of both these documents. And the UK has been home to some major progress on this front in recent months.
Earlier this year Essex-based company, Sea Kit, designed the first autonomous vessel to cross the North Sea. A remarkable achievement that was supported by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
And of course technology will also be a major theme at LISW. In fact it’s my hope that this year’s event might help stimulate the innovation of tomorrow.
That’s because London International Shipping Week has an important role to play in sowing the seeds that will help the maritime industry to flourish in future – whether that’s inspiring the development of new technology or creating new partnerships.
So I urge you to join me at what will be an extraordinary week. Take this opportunity to build new relationships, learn new things and prepare for a bright and exciting maritime future.