The 14th edition of the Singapore Maritime Lecture returned in part one of the three-part ‘Maritime Perspectives’ webinar series. Over 420 industry leaders and participants from 22 countries tuned in to the webinar.
In a keynote address titled “Down But Not Out: Resilience in a Post-COVID World”, distinguished speaker, Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, shared insights on changes to trade patterns and supply chains accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of Asia’s middle class and e-commerce.
To overcome present challenges and seize new opportunities in a post-COVID-19 world, Mr Menon stressed the importance of developing ‘resilient supply chains’ that are diverse, flexible and integrated; growing a ‘resilient industry’ through digitalisation; building a ‘resilient workforce’ in the face of technological changes; and driving sustainability in the industry to foster a ‘resilient planet’.
In the panel discussion segment of the webinar, Mr Wan Chee Foong (Regional CEO of Middle East South Asia & Head of Group Business Development, PSA International) and Mr Steve Saxon (Expert Partner, McKinsey) joined Mr Menon to share their thoughts on exploiting new opportunities and transforming the industry to build resilience for the future.
Mr Menon highlighted the importance of end-to-end digitalisation in overcoming inefficiencies and enhancing productivity along the value chain. He emphasised the need for system integration and interoperability throughout a supply chain when going ‘digital to the core’.
While discussing workforce transformation, Mr Wan noted that the pandemic has boosted workplace openness to reforms and created a mindset shift on disruption and the need for collaboration amongst players in the logistics and port ecosystem. He added that reskilling the workforce helps to raise the digital quotient of employees, enable workers to take on high-value jobs and reduce the digital divide between businesses and customers.
In addition, Mr Saxon encouraged maritime companies to strike partnerships with start-ups and internet players while developing digital business units to attract talents and enhance digital skills in the maritime workforce. He shared that collaboration is the key to remove inefficiencies in the global supply chain.
MPA-DBS Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Digitalisation of Financial Services and Payment Transactions in the Maritime Sector
Ms Tan Beng Tee, Assistant Chief Executive (Development) of MPA, said, “This partnership between MPA and DBS is timely as the maritime industry accelerates digitalisation for a post-COVID-19 economy. Our collaborative efforts to trial digital solutions for financial services and payment transactions will enhance efficiency in business transactions and improve cash flow particularly for our maritime SMEs. A digitally enabled Maritime Singapore will strengthen the competitiveness of our hub port and International Maritime Centre, allowing Singapore to remain an important sea transport hub that is ready to serve the needs of global trade.”