Nusrat Ghani MP, the UK’s Maritime Minister, has emphasized the importance of shipping to the British economy, describing it as the “lifeblood of global trade” ahead of the launch of London International Shipping Week.
In a statement, the UK government said it wants to show the country retains an integral position in global trade and is “open for business”.
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The emphasis on Britain’s importance as a maritime trading nation is all the greater as the deadline for Brexit – currently October 31, 2019 – approaches.
In January 2019 the UK launched ‘Maritime 2050’, a huge initiative that aims to make it the eminent testbed of emerging technology as it looks to capitalize on the growing potential of maritime innovations.
This strategy includes plans to develop autonomous vessels and establish the UK as the world’s foremost testing location and a leading hub for maritime investment.
Following that, in March 2019, the government unveiled a 10-point plan to increase the competitiveness of the UK’s ports. This included the creation of ‘port zones’ around specific hubs and hinterlands.
“Our maritime industry is thriving, and fundamental to our success as a trading nation, contributing £14.5 billion to the UK,” Ghani said.
“And as the largest trade event this year, London International Shipping Week is a unique opportunity for us to promote our ambition for a Global Britain, and for the sector to secure fantastic trade for the UK.
“As we look to reframe our relationship with the world, government is determined to work with industry to showcase all the UK has to offer and I am delighted to welcome so many of our great trade partners to the capital.”
Liz Truss MP, International Trade Secretary, also commented: “As the UK stands on the brink of a new era in our trading history, I’m committed to working with the maritime sector to ensure we remain a top trading nation.
“This week is a perfect opportunity to highlight our capabilities in areas such as digital technologies, shipbuilding, maritime science and services so we can capitalise on demand for British-built vessels from around the world.
“As an island nation, shipping is the lifeblood of our trading success. That’s why I’ll be establishing Freeports across the UK as soon as possible after we leave the EU, to drive growth and activity at our ports and ensure towns and cities across the UK benefit from post-Brexit trade opportunities. ”