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Environment, digitalisation, cooperation take centrestage at CSA 48th AGM

Published:Tuesday | October 9, 2018 | 12:00 AM
President delivering Opening address at the CSA’s 48th Annual General Meeting, Conference and Exhibition

Pursuing and promoting environmentally friendly practices, digitalisation of maritime shipping and cooperation for capacity building are major items for discussion by shipping industry professionals at the Caribbean Shipping Association's (CSA) 48th Annual General Meeting Conference and Exhibition now under way at the RIU Plaza in Panama City from October 8-10, 2018.

In his opening address today, David Jean-Marie, president of CSA, stated that the conference aims at encouraging innovative technology, design and processes that will positively influence the sustainability of the regional shipping industry. He also thanked Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT) for the excellent support that they are providing to facilitate this major regional shipping event.

Here are some excerpts from Jean Marie's Speech:

The shipping industry is conscious of its responsibility to promote environmental sustainability. No longer is this viewed as a sideline or fringe activity. Sustainability has, in fact, become central to our core business, given the emergence of the 'blue economy'.

The blue economy promotes better stewardship of our oceans and maritime resources and encompasses many economic activities, notably fisheries, shipping, port and maritime logistics, ocean and coastal tourism and leisure, conventional minerals exploration and production, and marine construction projects. Emerging sectors include renewable ocean energy; offshore extraction of oil and gas; seabed mining for metals and minerals; marine biotechnology research and development among others.

Regional studies have identified four main areas which offer the best prospects for further investment and advancement of the blue economy in the Caribbean. These are fisheries and aquaculture, coastal and marine tourism, marine renewable energy and marine transport.

Given the fact that Ports are critical infrastructure assets to economic development, and that maritime transportation is essential for most of the activities of the blue economy, an efficient, modern and environmentally-friendly shipping industry will no doubt contribute significantly to blue economy growth.

Colleagues, I have previously addressed this issue in the latest edition of the Caribbean Maritime magazine, but I would also like to use this platform to affirm the CSA's commitment to supporting sustainable marine economic activities that meet the needs of current and future generations. This is by no means an easy task for us in the Caribbean. Blue growth will require investments in infrastructure, conservation, research and development, institutional and human capacity development, as well as greater technological penetration, information-sharing and knowledge-building.


Development of the Blue Economy


However, I firmly believe that with a cohesive vision, strategic thinking and coordinated effort, we will make significant progress towards realising the development of the blue economy in the region.

We are, indeed, privileged to have in attendance so many distinguished thought leaders and resource persons, as well as influential industry players who are ready to provide critical input and share ideas. I am sure that the ensuing discussions on these pertinent topics will provide important insights on practical measures to strengthen the regional shipping industry and open up new horizons for generations to come.

The CSA is the voice of the Caribbean shipping industry and was established in 1971 to facilitate the development of an efficient, viable Caribbean Shipping Industry. Conferences hosted by the CSA provide a forum in which matters relevant to the growth and development of Caribbean shipping are discussed.