The fifth annual Maritime Standard Ship Finance and Trade Conference highlighted the importance of the shipping, ports and other maritime sectors working more closely with the financial services sector, as well as the growing influence of green issues and digitalization.
The tone was set by the keynote speaker, Ahmed Shareef Alkhoori, Director General, Federal Transport - Land & Maritime. He said: “Financial institutions have a key role to play in helping to unlock the barriers that can exist to the development of maritime businesses. It is important that good lines of communication between the financial and maritime sectors are cultivated, to allow both to take full advantages of the growth opportunities that exist.”
The chief executive of Abu Dhabi-based ADNOC Logistics & Services Capt. Abdulkareem Al Masabi, giving the second keynote, said from a shipowner perspective “we need long term financial partners to help achieve efficiencies in the global supply chain. Investment is central in this context and increased cooperation is needed.”
On behalf of Abu Dhabi Ports, Martin Arup, Chief Finance Officer, in his keynote speech, said “it is vital that shipping embraces technological solutions to drive the industry forward. In particular investment has to target the requirement for smart ports.”
Conference chairman Clive Woodbridge, editor of The Maritime Standard, said “it was a really dynamic conference with some extremely interesting presentations, that generally reflected a more upbeat and optimistic assessment of market trends. However, speakers also highlighted some of the key challenges that lie ahead, with the introduction of IMO 2020, the banking Poseidon principles, digital transformation and the emergence of a new generation of lenders, among others.”
The conference attracted an audience of around 170 top executives from shipping, ports, finance, law and other maritime sectors. Attendees joined the event not just from across the region, but from Europe and Asia as well.