Singapore's shipping industry continues to grow despite challenges

Singapore's strong fundamentals enabled the country to register growth last year despite a challenging time for the maritime industry, said Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew.

He was speaking at the Singapore Shipping Association Lunar New Year cocktail reception at Raffles City Convention Centre on Feb 6.

Mr Lui pointed out that last year was a record year for the port, in terms of container output and vessel arrival tonnage.

Singapore also maintained its position as the world's top bunkering port, he added.

"As an International Maritime Centre, Singapore continued to be an attractive and vibrant marketplace for shipowners, cargo traders and maritime service providers."

Challenges the industry faced include overcapacity, manpower constraints, high energy prices and new environmental regulations.

He said that the shipping community is adopting a "cautiously optimistic outlook" for the new year, with the global economy showing signs of recovery.

Data from the latest World Economic Outlook Update by the International Monetary Fund predicts global growth to increase to 3.7 per cent this year, up from 3 per cent in 2013.

Mr Lui said that the Government is committed to the long-term growth of the industry, hence the investments in infrastructure and sharper maritime policies.

He added that maritime education and training will see enhancements.