Ensuring safety of international trade arteries requires collective effort, says Singapore minister


Singaporean Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung said on Monday that ensuring the safety of international trade arteries like the Straits of Malacca and Singapore remains a critical task and requires the collective effort of all stakeholder countries.- The Straits Times/ANN

SINGAPORE, April 19 (Xinhua): Singaporean Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung said on Monday that ensuring the safety of international trade arteries like the Straits of Malacca and Singapore remains a critical task and requires the collective effort of all stakeholder countries.

While speaking at the 15th Singapore Maritime Week opening ceremony, Ong said that his country's Maritime Port Authority will continue to enhance its Vessel Traffic Information System to ensure safety of navigation, including early detection of collision and grounding risks.

Besides, the city-state is playing a key and active role in the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia, the first regional government-to-government initiative to counter piracy and sea robberies in Asia, he added.

The minister said that the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ever Given incident in the Suez Canal last month created delays in the global supply chain and renewed the importance of resilience for the maritime sector.

According to Ong, the Suez Canal carries around 12 percent of all global seaborne trade, in comparison, the Straits of Malacca and Singapore carries almost three times as much trade. "Any disruption along the Straits would be of greater impact," he said.

The Singapore Maritime Week 2021 was officially opened on Monday afternoon. It is held for the first time in a hybrid format.

The theme for this year is "New Frontiers, Shifting Paradigms," which, according to Ong, has the purpose of helping focus minds to do better, especially in a post-pandemic world where the industry landscape will be reshuffled.

The minister suggested four new frontiers for Maritime Singapore, which are resilience, digitalisation, decarbonisation, and talent. - Xinhua
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