U.K. Shipping minister says he is committed to putting the £31.7-billion shipping industry center-stage.
Stephen Hammond, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, speaking at a Maritime London/Shipping Professional Network London event underlined the government’s commitment to the U.K.’s maritime industry and declared its importance to Britain’s economic growth. Contributing £13.8bn to the U.K. economy directly and enabling a further £17.9 billionn, the U.K.’s maritime industry accounts for 2.1% of the entire economy, supports one in every 50 jobs and creates £8.5 billion for the U.K. Exchequer.
Announcing the beginning of a “much more coordinated approach from the government to shipping policy,” Mr. Hammond cited the establishment of a cross-government forum with the Department for Transport, the Cabinet Office, the Department for Business, Industry and Skills (BIS) and industry bodies such as Maritime London and the Baltic Exchange to discuss how the government can continue to help the industry to prosper.
Mr. Hammond said the government particularly welcomes the launch of London International Shipping Week, an event from September 9-13, 2013 focusing on London’s role in the development of global shipping. The world centre for professional and business services to the international maritime industry, London accounts for 21% of premiums in international marine insurance and provides over $64 billion in ship finance, and handles £744 million of shipbroking activity. London also has the world’s largest concentration of legal firms specializing in the maritime sector.
Maritime London Chief Executive Doug Barrow added, “Collaboration between government and industry is essential if we are to ensure that London and the U.K. remain a world beating maritime cluster providing services to the international shipping industry.”