Statement At IMO General Assembly

November 28, 2017 at 10:28 am

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GENERAL STATEMENT BY DATO’ SRI LIOW TIONG LAI, MINISTER OF TRANSPORT MALAYSIA AT THE 30th INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Monday, 27th November 2017

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, Excellencies, Honourable Heads of Delegation and Distinguished Delegates.

Good afternoon and greetings from Malaysia!

1. First and foremost, on behalf of the delegation of Malaysia I congratulate you His Excellency Rolando Drago Rodriguez from Republic of Chile on your election as President of the 30th Assembly of the International Maritime Organization. I also congratulate His Excellency Euripides Evriviades from the Republic of Cyprus and Her Excellency Tamar Beruchashvili from Georgia, on their election as Vice-Presidents.

2. I must also congratulate the Secretary General of IMO, Mr. Ki Tack Lim on his excellent stewardship and for all the hard work that has been put in by himself and the Secretariat including in organizing this year’s General Assembly.

Mr. President,

3. In the last two years many things have happened that have reshaped international port and shipping business. There were tremendous challenges for the shipping industry and there remains significant uncertainties.

4. Nevertheless, I am happy to note that we are beginning to see some positive trends.

5. The World Bank has projected a global growth rate of 2.7% and Asia in particular is poised to grow at a higher rate in excess of 5%.

6. Today we have also witnessed a surge of online business. In 2017 the value of global e-shopping alone is expected to top USD2.29 trillion. If this is a country it would have come in as the 8th biggest economy in the world.

7. Better access to technology across the globe has resulted in a change of consumer behaviour, which will also generate greater trade across borders. There is still life yet in the global economy and great hope for shipping.

8. Statistics shows that there was a 3% increase in world shipping tonnage in 2016 to reach 1.248 billion tonnes. Ships are also getting bigger.

Mr. President,

9. Indeed, there is still a lot more work for IMO and Malaysia as always is prepared to play our part. Allow me to highlight three very important issues that have been the focus of our activities the last couple of years.

10. Firstly on “Sustainable Development”. Malaysia is pleased that “IMO 70: Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a Better Future” has been chosen as the theme for World Maritime Day 2018 that is also meant to commemorate 70 years of IMO. We agree that the future of maritime transportation must continue to be safe, secure and sustainable. The development of maritime transportation should not be at the expense of our future generation.

11. We support the incorporation of the “United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” in our new Strategic Direction up to Year 2022. In this regard Malaysia is happy to work with IMO to further extend the sustainable development outreach program.

12. Malaysia supports the decision to reduce the sulphur content of fuel to 0.5 per cent by 1 January 2020. As one of the Lead Pilot Country of GloMEEP Project, we are now working with our industry to ensure the adequate supply of cleaner fuel for ships. Malaysia is also exploring new green alternatives to fuel the growing demand of the shipping industry. Among others we are exploring the use of LNG, bio-diesel and the use of hybrid technology for small crafts.

13. The Second Issue is on “Capacity Building”. Malaysia greatly value the role of human resource. In this regard, we continue to emphasise on capacity building activities not only in Malaysia but also in helping out our fellow IMO Member States. Malaysia together with IMO under the Malaysia – IMO Integrated Technical Cooperation Program have now benefitted 400 over participants from more than 80 countries.

14. We firmly believe that such programs will allow IMO member States to better understand and implement the many IMO conventions. Thus uplift the quality of shipping in their countries and globally.

15. Recently, Malaysia with the generous contribution from Japan has established the ASEAN Regional VTS Training Centre in Port Klang. The Centre will be used to train VTS Operators from ASEAN and we will expand the scope globally.

16. Thirdly, on the “Straits of Malacca and Singapore”. We have for many years acknowledged the vital role of the Straits for international shipping and trade. Reported traffic in the Straits have increased annually to exceed 85,000 vessels. The Straits remains an important East-West trade route and for international shipping. We would like to ensure the IMO and all member States that we are taking every effort to ensure that the Straits remain open, safe and secure for international shipping.

17. In this regards, Malaysia just recently hosted the 10th Cooperation Forum under the Cooperative Mechanism for the Straits of Malacca and Singapore in October this year. I am pleased to reiterate Malaysia’s commitment towards this unique mechanism in ensuring the safety of navigation and protecting the marine environment in the Straits. And that we will continue to cooperate with the other littoral States and all stakeholders towards this noble cause.

Mr. President,

18. Before I conclude, I am pleased to inform of Malaysia’s intention to continue serving in the IMO Council and that we have already submitted our candidature for re-election under Category C. Let me assure IMO and all member States that Malaysia is committed to work together with all of you to further the objectives of IMO.

19. Finally, I wish all delegates a very interesting and productive meeting. I thank you for your kind attention.