Support surges to keep ports open during COVID-19

Support for the Port Authorities Roundtable (PAR) COVID-19 declaration, initiated by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, has more than doubled since it was first launched on 24 April 2020.

Illustration. Image Courtesy: Kees Torn/Flickr

To date, more than 50 port authorities from Asia, Oceania, Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas have come on board the declaration, MPA Singapore said.

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Despite challenges caused by the coronavirus, the port authorities intend to ensure that merchant vessels can continue to call at their ports and work together to share best practices in ensuring that port operations can remain undisrupted.

“Now is the time, more than ever, for global supply chains to remain intact. This is critical for the flow of essential goods across the globe, and for global economic recovery,” Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health in Singapore, stressed in the second PAR COVID-19 Declaration video conference.

“Singapore’s port is committed to keeping global supply chains going. We have kept our port open and operational since the start of the global COVID-19 crisis,” he added.

With uncertainty over how the global COVID-19 pandemic will play out in the future, it is crucial that countries around the world remain committed to keeping their ports open for trade to ensure the continued flow of goods from one country to another. Critical and essential supplies that flow through the ports support the battle against COVID-19 and the gradual re-opening of economies, according to PAR COVID-19 members.

The declaration is also supported by international organisations and groups such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH), APEC Port Services Network (APSAN) and American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), Italian Port Association and Maritime NZ.