On November 6 over 200 key players of the Dutch maritime industry attended the 18th Mare Forum Ship Finance conference in Rotterdam. The central theme of this year’s edition was how capital providers can effectively fulfil the needs of ship owners. Rotterdam Maritime Services Community (RMSC) member Joep Gorgels of ABN-AMRO and Connie Roozen, RMSC Chairwoman, energized the room with their opening speeches. Topics included increased regulations, sustainability and protectionism.
The morning session was dominated by the question on how the shipping industry can increase its sustainability and where the responsibility for financing this change lies. Concerns were raised on the availability of sufficient amounts of low sulphur fuel and how innovative propulsion systems can be financed. As well as what can be done throughout the value chain to make the most globalised industry in the world more sustainable. The relevance and importance of this topic is supported by the fact that in 2019 Mare Forum will organise a special conference on green shipping.
It became clear that the shipping industry can do a better job of promoting what measures are already taken. For example showcasing how safe and sustainable shipping actually is. But also how the industry acknowledges its responsibility and the transformations it already went through the last decades.
The common sense was that the responsibility to become more sustainable lies not only in the hands of ship owners. Capital providers, shippers, charterers and even bunker-providers also play a crucial role.
The afternoon session focused on innovations and alternative ways of financing. Including the impact of Basel 4 capital requirements, but also the availability of various kinds of alternative sources of capital – like the increase of Chinese capital and how capital providers can effectively fulfil the needs of ship-owners today.
Besides lively discussions, there was more than enough time to meet old and new acquaintances and for networking. With half of the RMSC community present, it was a great event, and we are looking forward to the next edition in cooperation with Mare Forum.