Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) with the Ports and Harbours Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism of Japan (MLIT) at the sideline of the International Symposium on LNG bunkering in Yokohama, Japan.
The areas of cooperation under the MOC include port planning, port management and technological development in the port sector.
Signed today by Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA, and Mr Michio Kikuchi, Director-General of Ports and Harbours Bureau, MLIT, the MOC further strengthens the bilateral ties between MPA and MLIT.
The two organisations also enjoy a strong cooperative working relationship at international and regional forums such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the Co-operative Mechanism on Safety of Navigation and Environmental Protection in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
Further, MPA and MLIT were among the signatories of a multilateral Memorandum of Understanding, signed in Singapore in October 2016, to widen the network of LNG bunker ready ports in Europe, US and Asia. The MLIT had also participated in the two Port Authorities Roundtables held in 2015 and 2016, an initiative by Singapore to foster closer collaboration among port authorities and major ports around the world.
Japan and Singapore are leading maritime countries with many common interests. To promote greater collaboration between the port sectors, MPA and MLIT initiated the first bilateral maritime transport personnel exchange programme in 2016. Officers were attached to both organisations to learn more about the respective port sectors.
“The situation surrounding port sectors is dramatically changing. For example, the size of container vessels is getting larger. Shipping lines are restructuring their business strategies, including decisions on alliances. The International Maritime Organization is strengthening regulations on emissions from vessels. For Asian region to develop, it is very important that Japan and Singapore address these common issues in a collaborative manner. Based on this MOC, we are striving to forge a closer partnership with MPA to contribute to sustainable development of ports in Japan and Singapore,” said Michio Kikuchi, Director-General of Ports and Harbours Bureau, MLIT.
MPA’s Chief Executive Andrew Tan said, “The signing of the MOC is timely given the changes taking place in the maritime sector with the advent of new technologies, rise of the digital economy and shifts in world trade. The MOC will enhance the level of cooperation between MPA and MLIT. New activities envisaged under the MOC include more regular meetings, to be held alternately in Singapore and Japan, greater cooperation and exchange of information, as well as promoting collaboration between port operators and entities such as research institutes. We also look forward to working with leading ports such as Yokohama to promote LNG bunkering in the region.”