The ‘Dragon’s Head’: SSA announces need for unified Asia


A prolific member of the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) has emphasised “the need for a unified Asian voice” as an increasing Asian economy helps keeps the international shipping industry afloat.

During the Connecticut Maritime Association (CMA) conference, SSA honorary secretary, Esben Poulsson advised the need for integration in agencies to continue such success.

Speaking on “The Fast and Furious Pace of Change in Asia”, Mr Poulsson noted that the projected growth for the association of Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN) is 5.2 percent this year, and expected to increase to 5.6 percent in 2015.

He noted that “an essential element” of this is down to ASEAN’s “economic integration”.

Mr Poulsson expressed the view that the ‘Dragon’s Head’ of Shanghai will become more important as time goes on, whilst Hong Kong will remain important for Northern Asia.

Simultaneously, Singapore’s influence “will further strengthen in south east Asia and beyond.”

He announced the importance of the SSA to work in tandem with other organisations to ensure that “the Asian message is heard internationally.”

“The need for a unified Asian voice has never been more important,” he continued.

“In the area of shipping regulation it is essential that the views of Asian ship owners are heard loud and clear, especially on the many current issues such as piracy and armed robbery, the Ballast Water Convention, greenhouse gas emissions and so on.”

“Asian values prioritise community or state interest over individual interests; social order; stability and unity over public debate; a respect for authority; hard work, self-sacrifice and loyalty. Asian workers and leaders embody these principles and with their ‘can do’ attitude, they personify the values of self-reliance and hard work.”

Finally, pointing out the focus in Asia on emerging talent in the shipping industry and the need to continue educating younger generations on its importance, Mr Poulsson highlighted the SSA’s strong support for initiatives to attract young people with an interest in entering the industry, including the provision of scholarships.

Mr Poulsson concluded: “Asia is indeed changing the face of global shipping today.”

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