Maritime Singapore is built on three pillars, according to Rene Piil Pedersen, group representative Singapore/Asia-Pacific, Maersk Group and managing director, AP Moller Singapore Pte Ltd. These are competitiveness, that is, a globally competitive taxation scheme, ease of doing business, etc; stability, ie, a consistent, long-term transparent government policy executed by competent government and institutions, rule of law and strong anti-corruption policy; and finally multicultural meritocracy, which gives access to talent with an international and competitive mindset.
These three pillars are the foundation of Singapore’s growth as an international maritime centre.
“This gives a very strong fundament for Singapore as an IMC, and this is also the reason why the Maersk Group has registered close to 140 vessels and drilling rigs with a value of some US$ 12 billion in Singapore,” he says.
Today, a strong fundament is alpha omega to survive in a time, where the oil industry is bleeding. Falling prices on oil together with falling shipping rates are damaging the whole branch, and has led to thousands job lay-offs as well as closing down oil riggs.
Significantly, despite the current gloom and doom in the global shipping industry, the number of Maersk employees in Singapore remains stable at around 650.
“With all of our major businesses having activities in Singapore there will always be some who are scaling down while others are growing their number of employees, and right now we are growing the number of staff in Maersk Line’s commercial office based in Singapore as part of a restructuring of the business in South-east Asia,” Rene Piil Pedersen says.
He sees shipping companies playing a strong role in Singapore’s growth as an international maritime centre (IMC) going forward.
Maersk has been established in Singapore since 1975 and has grown its operations here substantially in tandem with Singapore’s growth as an international maritime centre. It is the top Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) client with about 140 vessels and the Singapore office operates over 100 of its vessels.