Remarks: Harry Theochari addresses British Ports Association parliamentary reception

Maritime UK Chair, Harry Theochari, made the following remarks at the British Ports Association’s parliamentary reception on Tuesday evening:

“The maritime sector is one of Britain’s biggest, most productive and dynamic industries. Ports are at the heart of that and make a major contribution to the UK’s coastal communities.

“Ports are catalysts for growth in coastal communities, investing £600m each year, with £1.7bn worth of projects in the pipeline, including major projects in Aberdeen and Dover, with countless other schemes of all sizes at ports around the UK.

“Ports and maritime are responsible for facilitating 95% of all UK trade, totalling £500bn each year.

“Given the spotlight that Brexit has focused on our sector, the public and government now know much more about maritime than before – it’s our responsibility to make sure we capitalise upon that awareness. And that must include seeing stability and certainty on the UK’s future relations with the EU as a matter of urgency.

“Ports don’t ask for much but do need support from government in terms of transport connectivity and planning.

“Ports value being part of the Maritime UK family – ports are embracing initiatives like the Women in Maritime programme and industry awards. They are a critical component of our maritime sector – alongside shipping, leisure, engineering and services.

“We have exciting times with growth in offshore wind, cruise, fishing and recreational sailing; on top of continued importance of traditional cargoes through our ports.

“Maritime 2050 provides an ambitious framework to take action to enhance the competitiveness of our sector, to realise the potential of our coastal communities and to be leaders in the technologies of tomorrow. The rest of the sector looks forward to working with ports to realise those ambitions.”