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Hinchliffe: Shipping faces an identity crisis

Jan 15, 2019 09:03 AM

Aligning with public-facing stakeholders is a commercial necessity, the former ICS leader says

The following is text of a news release from the Consortium of International Maritime Heritage (CIMH):

(SINGAPORE) — Increased regulatory requirements. Public demand for reducing environmental impacts. Transparency provided by the Internet and social networks. All these factors are contributing to the necessity of the maritime industry to re-focus its public image. But how?

“Industry members understand the value proposition of the maritime sector, but communicating that to the public has always been a challenge,” said Peter Hinchliffe, former International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) secretary-general. “How many conferences do we attend where there is a collective wringing of hands and bemoaning of the low level of awareness? Good news is we are coming into the public eye and we must be able to tell our story and tell it in a constructive and insightful way. Alignment with public-facing stakeholders is a necessity and this is a driving force of the World Congress on Maritime Heritage in Singapore.”

The Inaugural World Congress on Maritime Heritage will be held from March 13 to 15 at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore. The congress will address the current state of the shipping industry, examine the sector’s past influence on global trade and cultural influences as featured in the world’s maritime museums, address the oceans and sustainability, illuminate signature undersea archeological and exploration activities, and connect these communities to provide a window into the future. Importantly, participants in the congress will include public-facing stakeholders such as maritime museums and others who will help to carry the maritime industry story.

“This is a ground-breaking opportunity to engage with the public and shape the face of the industry,” said Hinchliffe. “This will provide the maritime industry with not just additional advocates for our value to global society but will help facilitate our ability to move goods and energy around the globe.”

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim will be a keynote speaker, along with top Singapore Cabinet ministers. Former Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu will open the congress. Other topics being covered in the conference include how the ocean is a pathway to commerce and the global economy, a sustainable future, cultural diversity, and governance. Additional features include “Why we must explore the past to navigate the future,” undersea commerce, tourism and maritime heritage in the global context, and regional breakout opportunities.

The congress is being jointly organized by the Consortium for International Maritime Heritage and Resorts World Sentosa with support from the IMO, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), International Congress of Maritime Museums (ICMM), Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA).

Registration for the congress is now open. For more information on the program and invited speakers, visit the official website of World Congress on Maritime Heritage 2019 (wcmh2019.com).

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