Full steam ahead for Lingang Special Area
An international shipping public service platform was launched in the Lingang Special Area on Sunday as part of the efforts to improve the services of the free trade zone.
The first of its kind in China, the platform is a symbol of Shanghai's continued efforts a decade after the city set up its free trade zone in the Pudong New Area to innovate various rules and policies.
It aims to offer services in the full life cycle of shipping companies via policy consultation in the initial stage, business settlement in the next and tailored services throughout the process.
The platform, unveiled at the first Dishui Lake International Shipping Innovation Conference, has five integrated service functions: enterprise registration, policy consultation, public services, financial services and legal services.
With the theme of openness, innovation and integration for high-level shipping services, the conference focused on building highly functional shipping service clusters. And conducting extensive exchanges on the transformation of shipping from digitization, intelligence, green, and low-carbon for the promotion of the high-quality development of the international shipping service industry.
It was attended by industry insiders from international organizations such as the International Chamber of Shipping, BIMCO, London Maritime Arbitrators Association, Baltic Exchange, Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, UK P&I, Lloyd's Register of Shipping, Det Norske Veritas, Japanese Classification Society, Bureau Veritas, Maritime Technology Cooperation Center Asia, Hong Kong Shipowners Association, shipping companies include COSCO Shipping, Maersk, Dafei Ship, Orient Overseas (International) Limited, ONE, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation, Zhonggu Shipping, Antone Holdings, and port operators like Shanghai Port Group, DP World, Port of Tianjin Group and Moffatt&nichol.
Chen Jinshan, Party secretary of the Lingang Special Area of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, pointed out that the Lingang Special Area was born of and has prospered because of the port. It will focus on deepening institutional innovation in the shipping industry, creating an open policy environment and first-class business environment for the innovative development of shipping enterprises.
"We will focus on functional shipping services to provide a platform carrier for shipping enterprises to efficiently allocate resources from both international and domestic shipping markets," Chen said.
"We will provide broad development space for high-level shipping services such as ship management, maritime arbitration, seafarer dispatch, shipping finance, and shipping insurance."
Zhang Xiaohong, vice mayor of Shanghai, noted that the city will strengthen its connectivity and make every effort to build a world-class sea and air hub.
"We will follow the trend of green, low-carbon, and intelligent development, highlight technology empowerment, and better lead the industry's green and intelligent transformation," Zhang said.
Lin Yisong, head of division of Yangshan Special Free Trade & Transportation Zone, told Shanghai Daily that the International Maritime Organization has proposed in its latest emission reduction strategy to peak greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping as soon as possible, and to achieve net zero emissions before or around 2050, taking into account different national conditions.
"Lingang has a very forward-looking layout for the shipping industry both domestically and internationally. The future of new energy will abandon diesel as traditional shipping energy, and instead, use green methanol. This is a change in the game rules and is very meaningful and forward-looking in itself.
"In the face of making good use of the institutional innovation of the free trade zone, Lingang may focus on shipping financing, maritime dispute resolution and digital platforms to attract more service oriented institutions and businesses to gather," Lin said.
Heike Deggim, director of Maritime Safety Division, International Maritime Organization, stressed that international shipping needs cyber security.
"We have many digitalization projects not only for shipping but also for ports," Deggim said. "We are building autonomous ships. Hence we need a regulatory framework accordingly. We need cyber security in place otherwise it will open for bad players."
Song Baoru, Party secretary of Shanghai Maritime University, emphasized the importance of better talent training programs, comprehensively updating the curriculum system, teaching material system, and internship and training systems to comply with the green, low-carbon, and intelligent transformation and development in shipping.