Government hails maritime industry as lifeblood of global trade with launch of London International Shipping Week
Maritime trade will take centre stage this week as 20,000 industry leaders head to the capital for London International Shipping Week.
Cabinet members including the Secretaries of State for Transport, International Trade and Defence as well as the Minister for Maritime will attend events across the week to champion their continued support for the sector, and highlight the UK as a hub for international maritime trade.
The event will showcase the unique opportunities for international business that will reinvigorate the UK shipbuilding industry as the UK leaves the EU on 31st October, with the UK open for business as it looks towards a bright future in maritime trade.
Nusrat Ghani, Maritime Minister, said: “Our maritime industry is thriving, and fundamental to our success as a trading nation, contributing £14.5 billion to the UK.
“And as the largest trade event this year, London International Shipping Week is a unique opportunity for us to promote our ambition for a Global Britain, and for the sector to secure fantastic trade for the UK.
“As we look to reframe our relationship with the world, government is determined to work with industry to showcase all the UK has to offer and I am delighted to welcome so many of our great trade partners to the capital.”
The UK has a proud maritime history, and shipping remains key to the economy, directly contributing £14.5 billion to the UK’s GDP and accounting for 95% of British trade.
Ministers will use the week to set out a range of measures to support the maritime sector even further, as Government looks towards the UK’s role as a premier global trading nation post-Brexit, including plans and investments to strengthen UK ship-building, boost cutting-edge maritime technology, and increase the uptake of careers in the industry.
London International Shipping Week, which will showcase the breadth of the sector, will restate the UK’s position as leader in maritime and provide the opportunity to build meaningful bridges between companies and trading partners.
International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss MP, said: “As the UK stands on the brink of a new era in our trading history, I’m committed to working with the maritime sector to ensure we remain a top trading nation. This week is a perfect opportunity to highlight our capabilities in areas such as digital technologies, shipbuilding, maritime science and services so we can capitalise on demand for British-built vessels from around the world.
“As an island nation, shipping is the lifeblood of our trading success. That’s why I’ll be establishing Freeports across the UK as soon as possible after we leave the EU, to drive growth and activity at our ports and ensure towns and cities across the UK benefit from post-Brexit trade opportunities. “
During the week, the UK Ship Register will also launch its future plans for growth, highlighting the British ‘Red Ensign’ as a symbol of the UK’s competitive advantage, offering a vibrant global shipping service by providing world class surveyors and regulation to ensure the safety of seafarers’ vessels and the environment.
Ministers will also highlight the value of the shipping sector to key coastal communities, with the sector directly employing more than 186,000 people. Domestically Maritime drives vital local investment.
The attendees include Europe’s biggest ship owners and international delegations including Greece, Brazil, South Korea, USA, Singapore, Hong Kong and China.