News: Lord Mayor reaffirms support for maritime sector

A year on from the launch of the Maritime Growth Study, representatives from across the maritime sector came together at Mansion House for a seminar to discuss progress towards the Study recommendations and to explore the implications of Brexit for the maritime sector.

The seminar “Charting our Course” was convened by the City Corporation and Maritime London, in conjunction with Maritime UK and hosted by the Lord Mayor of London, Lord Mountevans who reaffirmed his commitment and that of government to delivering upon the study recommendations.

In his opening remarks, the Lord Mayor, who authored the Maritime Growth Study commented upon the progress made to delivering the recommendations set out in his report;

“For as long as London has existed as a commercial hub, its success has relied on a strong maritime sector. From the river Thames to the numerous sea ports nearby, London is a city of the water.

“One of our most famous sons, the diarist and renaissance man’ Samuel Pepys knew better than most the fact that London’s success relied upon maritime.  Pepys knew that in a sector as international as maritime, you can never afford to sit on your laurels. You always have to think ahead, coming up with solutions for tomorrow’s challenges.

"The result was the Maritime Growth Study: the first government-backed project of its type for more than two decades, which provided a blueprint for a competitive, skilled UK sector."

David Dingle CBE, Chairman of Maritime UK added;

“Having taken on the mantle of the promotional body set out in the study, Maritime UK has expanded its membership and remit, bringing together for the first time all of the sectors of the maritime and marine industries under one umbrella.

“So too have we deepened the connection between the industries and social partners and strengthened our relationships with government.

“For our sector will be more powerful, our voice louder, our influence greater, these steps are just the starting point… we must come together, as a sum of our parts, and speak with a single voice to strengthen and promote our world-class maritime offering.”

With the discussions focused on continuing work to deliver growth across the sector, many contributors also focussed upon the likely impact of Brexit upon the Maritime Growth Study agenda and the wider opportunities for growth in the maritime industries.

Lord Mountevans commented;

“The Brexit vote has sent shockwaves through many City sectors. But it also presents opportunities for those ready to grab them.

“For as long as London has existed as a commercial hub, its success has relied upon a strong maritime sector.

“90% of world trade still moves by sea, and our sector supports around half a million jobs around the UK, many highly-skilled wand well-paid. By keeping the sector working smoothly, we will ensure that the country remains open for business.”

Maritime UK, in consultation with member organisations, has identified three key priorities in the discussions ahead: Ensuring an attractive business environment, taking a global approach to global issues and championing British skills, services, and goods.

The Chairman commented;

“The maritime sector must be at the centre of discussions as we move forward, ensuring that government understands our sector, protects what makes us great and develop new ways of facilitating growth.”