David Dingle, Chairman of Maritime UK, welcomed global industry leaders to the UK on 12 September for London International Shipping Week with Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling.
“Good evening, and on behalf of Maritime UK, I’d like to join the Secretary of State in welcoming you to London International Shipping Week.
Our capital is playing host to so many international delegations from all corners of the globe. As the most global of industries, such a gathering is fitting. We welcome you to London.
Yesterday we were welcomed to Downing Street, where we discussed how we can make the UK a more competitive and attractive place for maritime business. Industry and government are committed to doing whatever it takes to attract more maritime business to Britain.
Tomorrow, there will be a parliamentary reception launching our new and illuminating report into the value of the maritime sector.
And tomorrow will also play host to the first International Maritime Xchange, at Somerset House, matching the best of British maritime:
high-quality design and manufacturing
unparalleled services expertise
and major investment opportunities
…with the needs of our international partners.
UK maritime has the respect of the world––and deservedly so––but we must not rest on our laurels.
Things change fast and industry and government must work closely together to ensure that maritime has the commitment and direction it needs to maintain our position as the world’s maritime centre.
We are home to many world-class clusters of maritime expertise, and we’re both accessible and well equipped to send and receive goods at numerous points along our vast shoreline.
London, meanwhile, remains a highly attractive maritime capital, and contributes hugely to making us competitive. This year’s Menon Leading Maritime Capitals of the World report put our capital in the top five – and London continues to make the global top spot in finance and law its own.
And of course, it isn’t just London competing as a global maritime capital.
The UK’s strength is in its collective value.
Merseyside, the Solent, Scotland and the Humber, to name just a few, offer unique and complimentary packages.
Merseyside has experienced a renaissance as a maritime powerhouse, evinced by, for example, by the construction of Liverpool2 and the planned Centre of Excellence at John Moores University.
Humberside has been transformed as a centre of a green revolution thanks to the off-shore wind industry.
Scotland excels in engineering and provides world-class offshore support.
The Solent offers some of the most exciting and powerful collaborations between industry and academia, such as the Global Technology Centre at Southampton.
And the south coast is home to so many leaders in the construction of bespoke and prestigious vessels, including superyachts in which the UK is truly a world-leader.
Meanwhile, extensive infrastructure and significant investment by our ports throughout the UK allow for the swift delivery of international goods and transfer of passengers.
And provide an ideal location for manufacturing and distribution, benefiting from outstanding connectivity.
A culture of innovation is embedded within the UK’s maritime sector, driving us to challenge existing norms, create new technology and drive progress.
Just today Lloyds Register, QinetiQ and the University of Southampton launched their report into the future of maritime autonomy, again demonstrating the UK’s role as a leader in innovation.
The UK offers high-quality and bespoke maritime design, ship building and manufacturing.
We only have to look at the UK’s new aircraft carriers and polar research vessel, the David Attenborough, to see the quality and capacity of UK design and manufacturing.
Our shipyards are experiencing a welcome renaissance. The government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy can only supercharge this trend.
Let’s also celebrate this being a fortnight of world-class maritime activity here in the UK.
Beyond LISW, on Friday, our focus shifts south, to the TheYachtMarket.com Southampton Boat Show.
The Show is a fantastic showcase of the best of the UK’s leisure marine industry.
We’re confident in our offer to global industry, and ready to partner with you to create tomorrow’s maritime world.
The importance of maritime to the UK will only grow post-Brexit. Our sector will rise to the challenge and play our part in laying the foundations for a bright future for the country.
Britain could not be better positioned to reinvent itself––or perhaps I should say to reprise its role as––a world-leading, maritime, trading nation.
Ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for joining us this evening, and I invite you all to be part of the great British maritime success story.
Source: Maritime UK, 13 September 2017