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UK Poised for Maritime Growth

Date: 12/10/2015

The UK wants more ships to be registered under the British flag and has proposed measures to make that a reality in a report examining how to maximize Britain’s potential as a maritime nation published on 7 September 2015, at the London International Shipping Week 2015.

The study led by Lord Mountevans, Chairman of Maritime UK, examined how Britain can build on the success of an industry that contributes at least £11 billion to the UK economy annually and supports more than 113,000 jobs and 6,600 businesses.

It was commissioned by Government early in November 2014, and is intended to explore how the decline in the UK flag can be reversed, and the UK’s place as a world-leading maritime nation can be built upon for the benefit of the UK economy. The Study follows data, which emerged early in 2015, showing that the number of ships flying the UK flag has fallen by a third in the last 5 years.

Recommendations in the study include:

•             the establishment of a ministerial working group in government to drive forward action on maritime issues, set clear targets and monitor progress

•             creating a new standalone unit within the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to focus on attracting more ships to be British registered and fly the Red Ensign

•             government and industry to develop a joint strategy to identify skills gaps and increase apprenticeships i‎n the UK maritime sector and increase apprenticeships

•             the creation of a single industry body to promote the UK maritime sector to international markets

“London International Shipping Week is an opportunity to remind the world of the benefits Britain offers, whether it’s our world-leading ports, maritime business services or skilled workforce. We are determined to grow our share of the global maritime sector, helping talented people find careers in its industries and attracting companies to do business in the UK,” Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said.

“I want Britain to feel the benefit of its international reputation by driving economic growth and increasing jobs. We have already seen millions invested in the UK, including at London Gateway and Liverpool – demonstrating the central place Britain already holds in the industry.”

The UK Chamber particularly welcomed the focus on industry and government working together to take forward the recommendations, and especially recomendations to streamline the administrative process for companies doing business in the UK and reform the Maritime and Coastguard Agency – something which the UK Chamber has consistently called for.

UK Chamber of Shipping Chief Executive, Guy Platten said: “Growth will be delivered when the global industry recognises that the UK is proactive in creating a competitive, commercially focused and ambitious Ship Register.  Today is a hugely important first step in creating it.

“Numerous shipowners around the world have told me that they will join the UK Ship Register and invest in the UK if reforms are delivered.  It shows there is demand and goodwill, and with the right political will we can make the most of the opportunity.”

The report launched London International Shipping Week 2015, which runs from 7 to 11 September.

 

 
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