Speech: Welcome to the world's maritime centre
David Dingle, Chairman of Maritime UK, welcomed global industry leaders to the UK last night (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
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
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
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
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