The inaugural Global Maritime Forum met in Hong Kong for the first time in early October 2018, bringing together leaders from the world of shipping and international government representatives.

Hutchison Ports was a key sponsor of the event and Eric Ip, Group Managing Director was invited to welcome the eminent gathering of international guests to Hong Kong and to the Global Maritime Forum.

At the forum, delegates discussed how new platform based business models could fundamentally transform traditional ship owning and the maritime supply chain.

Many of the sessions covered the rise of automation, artificial intelligence, big data and other emerging technologies and its potential to revolutionise business operations as well as increase the industry’s positive impact on society. There are also discussions including the ability to improve environmental and safety performance and drive economic growth.

The environment was also a hot topic with Sulphur Cap 2020 high on the agenda of many governments who have committed to reducing international shipping’s emissions.

There was a lively debate about developing the fuels of the future, scrubber and engine technology which will require an unprecedented level of collaboration across the industry and with a wide range of stakeholders.

Other subjects included the current trade war between the United States and China and how this may adversely affect shipping. Additionally, sessions covered how shipping companies can improve gender equality to attract more female workers to the industry and improving seafarer conditions.

There were also presentations on the development of economic corridors, highlighting China’s Belt and Road initiative and how this will benefit ocean trade in the future.

The overall theme of the forum was focused on how the industry can cope and work together to explore possible responses and uncover new opportunities to unleash the potential of global seaborne trade and increase sustainable long-term economic development and human well-being.