Asian Ports Foster Ties amid Changing Winds
Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Harbours Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism of Japan (MLIT) have partnered up to meet the demands of the changing maritime industry including LNG bunkering.
The duo signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) at the International Symposium on LNG bunkering in Yokohama, Japan.
Under the terms of the MOC, the parties will cooperate in port planning, port management and technological development in the port sector.
“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,” Michio Kikuchi, Director-General of Ports and Harbours Bureau, MLIT, explained.
“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,” Kikuchi further 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,” Andrew Tan, MPA’s Chief Executive, commented.
“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,” Tan added.
MPA and MLIT were also among the signatories of a multilateral memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed in Singapore in October 2016 in an effort to widen the network of LNG bunker ready ports in Europe, US and Asia.