2nd Annual KMI-WMU Seminar
On 14 June, President Doumbia-Henry welcomed a delegation from the Korea Maritime Institute (KMI) led by Dr. Chang-Ho Yang, President of KMI, on the occasion of the second annual KMI-WMU seminar. The annual seminar falls within the framework of the MOU signed between WMU and KMI in June 2016, which provides for mutual co-operation, collaboration and high quality research including the holding of a joint seminar on an annual basis. Recent Developments in Shipping, Finance and Restructuring: Business Strategy and Public Policy was this year’s theme.
In her opening remarks, President Doumbia-Henry noted the role of WMU in giving prominence to the major issues impacting the maritime industry and that of KMI as a think-tank in the field of maritime affairs. She highlighted the timeliness of the topic discussed due to the many challenges currently facing the shipping industry including overcapacity, consolidation, bankruptcies, restructuring, increased ship recycling, low-risk appetite of banks, political developments in major countries and the global economy in general. “These developments have had an impact on the industry as a whole, with related local, national, regional, and international implications. It is well recognised that the shipping industry is indispensable to the world and is an indispensable component in global logistics and supply chains, and as such one of the main pillars that sustains the world economy. For this reason, we have partnered with KMI to invite a number of well-known experts in the industry and in academia to share their experiences and knowledge with us. They will provide useful insights into the state of the industry today, lessons learnt as well as the outlook for the future,” she stated.
President Yang also spoke of the prolonged downturn in the shipping market since 2008 and the unique role that KMI has contributed, as the government sponsored research institute, in analysing the cause and effect of the Hanjin Shipping collapse. He stated, “New policy trends emphasize active government intervention and close cooperation between the private and public sector because shipping plays an important role in facilitating international trade by providing stable cargo movement.” He further spoke of the developing relationship between WMU and KMI and noted that many WMU Alumni play pivotal roles in international maritime communities including ministries, universities, and at the International Maritime Organization where WMU Alumnus, Mr Kitack Lim, is the current Secretary-General.
Distinguished invited speakers for the seminar included representatives from the European Investment Bank, Hofstra University, KMI, Eurofin Group, the OECD International Transport Forum, the Swedish Shipowners’ Association, Zurich Institute of Business Education and WMU. Themes discussed included developments in container shipping, achieving a sustainable transport system, innovations in shipping, especially in an era of diverging globalization, Korean shipping policy, collapse of Hanjin Shipping, green shipping initiatives, as well as current developments, opportunities and challenges in shipping finance.