SINGAPORE - Singapore will pledge an enhanced technical cooperation and training package valued at US$5 million (about S$6.5 million) for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its member states.
Minister for Transport, Khaw Boon Wan launched the package on Wednesday (April 25) in the presence of IMO secretary-general Lim Kitack at the 2nd Maritime Administrators' Forum organised by the MPA Academy.
Mr Khaw, who is also Co-ordinating Minister for Infrastructure, said at the event held in conjunction with the Singapore Maritime Week (SMW) 2018 that the package supports IMO Strategic Plan for 2018-2023 and the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) and IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) initiatives.
The package will enhance current training programmes in three areas. First, Singapore will increase the scale and scope of the technical assistance under the Singapore-IMO TCTP MOU. Singapore will hold additional training courses, and open them to more participants from developing Member States. Singapore will also introduce a new IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) training course to assist fellow Member States in preparing for their IMSAS audits.
The memorandum of understanding between Singapore and the IMO Concerning a Third Country Training Programme (TCTP) was signed in 1998 for Singapore and the IMO to jointly provide technical assistance to equip developing IMO Member States with the capabilities and expertise to implement the regulations and standards of the IMO.
Second, Singapore will expand its cooperation with the World Maritime University (WMU). The port nation-state will provide new fellowships and scholarships for maritime officials from IMO Member States to take up studies at the WMU and maritime institutes in Singapore. Singapore will also increase the number of study visits to Singapore that it host for WMU students.
Third, Singapore will work with the IMO to enhance global maritime leadership training, and provide new fellowships for maritime officials from Member States to attend the various flagship programmes conducted by the MPA Academy in Singapore.
Mr Khaw pointed out that technical cooperation and capacity building is a critical part of implementing the IMO's policies and standards.
He said: "Singapore has benefited much from various IMO technical cooperation and capacity building programmes. In the years after we became independent, many countries helped to train our people and helped us put in place the necessary systems and processes. We believe in paying it forward and sharing our experience with others."
Singapore was the first to sign the TCTP MOU with the IMO 20 years ago. Since then, Singapore has conducted training and development programmes for over 1,900 participants from some 90 Member States.
Noting Singapore's contribution, IMO's Mr Lim said at the event: "Since the inception of the IMO-Singapore Third Country Training Programme (TCTP) in 1998, many Member States have benefited substantially from this programme.
"I welcome Singapore's announcement regarding the enhancement of its technical co-operation and training package to IMO, including increased support to the World Maritime University (WMU)."
Driven by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), SMW 2018 is a series of conferences and events that gathers the international maritime community for a week of conferences, exhibitions, dialogues and social events in celebration of all things maritime.