There is less than a month to go until London International Shipping Week 2015 begins. Under the watchful eye of Jeremy Penn, the Baltic’s chief executive and chairman of the LISW Steering Group, a stellar line-up of industry speakers has been arranged. Emily Maitlis of BBC Newsnight will preside over the conference as moderator, while HRH the Princess Royal has agreed to be LISW 2015’s patron.
In a recently published summary of responses to the joint industry and Government led UK Maritime Growth Study, senior industry figures emphasised the necessity of the UK being able: “to “sell” the UK maritime sector both internationally and domestically without compromising what prospective customers respect and look for in the UK offering.” LISW is the perfect platform from which to carry out this promotional work.
The theme of LISW15 will examine what the next 10 years hold for the shipping industry and trade in general. Commercial centres of gravity are shifting, which combined with poor markets and economic uncertainty, poses complex questions for the industry. The high level speeches and discussions at the conference will play a key part in decision makers’ thinking – members’ contributions and attendance at the conference is important.
The scene is set for a truly memorable LISW that will make a true impression on all attendees and give new Shipping Minister Robert Goodwill a worthy introduction to the sector.
The Baltic has thrown its weight behind the event, which in many ways is a microcosm of the global shipping industry – the world coming to London. This reflects London’s status as the world’s major chartering centre – more ships are fixed here than anywhere else and the City is home to the largest cluster of professional maritime services. However the maintenance of this happy state of affairs is by no means guaranteed, with several other commercial shipping centres vying for the top spot.
As such, members should attend, network and engage at LISW15 in order to support their own businesses and UK shipping in general by showcasing the credibility and expertise that attracts clients from all over the world to do business here in the first place.
As companies and individuals, we are competing with each other to win business – often the competition is fierce! However the Baltic enables us to come together as an industry, providing a conduit through which our common interests can be channelled. Crucially, as members of the Baltic we share in a code of ethics, summarised by ‘Our word our bond’ that sets us apart from so many non-member competitors. LISW provides an opportunity to export our unique culture and pooling of interests around the world.
More locally, the UK Government needs to better understand what London needs to be an effective maritime cluster and the greater the number of members that manage to speak to politicians or civil servants at LISW, the better.
LISW isn’t just about high level conferences. Our industry depends on good relationships and these can be strengthened and maintained in social settings. LISW15 activities will include a charity golf day organised and sponsored by the Baltic – members are strongly encouraged to take part. The venue is Walton Heath Golf Course, specifically its Old Course which has hosted several major golfing events including the 1981 Ryder Cup. Teams will compete for the Baltic Golf Cup and LISW’s nominated charities will benefit from revenues generated on the day.