SINGAPORE: The OECS Region is Ideally Positioned for the Development of the Maritime Industry. The capacity of OECS port authorities to minimize trade transaction costs and spur economic growth has been strengthened following a five-day regional training course implemented by the Trade Policy Unit of the OECS Commission in collaboration with the Singapore Cooperation Program (SCP).
The second phase of the OECS-SCP Joint Training Program on Maritime Port Management in the OECS was facilitated by STET Maritime Services (STET MS), a division of ST Electronics (Training and Simulation Systems), specializing in providing education, training and consultancy services to the maritime industry. Captain Mark Heah, representative from ST Electronics (Training and Simulation Systems), said the OECS region is ideally positioned for the development of sea transport. “The course is timely and benefitted the participants well,” he said. “There was lots of dialogue and an effort to come together as a team to see how the OECS can move forward in the maritime arena. These states are wonderfully positioned especially for the cruise industry and notwithstanding there is also cargo that has to move through, and this is also another conduit that is important under sea transportation. The Caribbean is well known for its sea, sand, and surf, and this should be taken advantage of, and I’m sure that with all the states coming together, they will be able to ensure the viability and progress of the maritime industry in this part of the world.”
Darwin Telemaque, Port Manager of the Antigua and Barbuda Ports Authority, said the workshop was a significant stride in the development of the maritime environment within the OECS. “We are hoping that as Singapore was able to form a strategy with the port that led to the broader development of its economy, that we too at our ports can aid in the development of our societies by being more efficient, more productive, and building the capacity of people, so that in the end the port can be that pillar that provides some level of social transformation and economic enhancement that will lead to the betterment of our people.” The training provided practical solutions to the efficiency of maritime port operations; the adequacy and quality of maritime port equipment and infrastructure; and the efficiency of intra-regional transportation logistics. The high-level training workshop was delivered to OECS port managers and senior port officials over a five-day period. It was held at the Coco Palm Hotel in Saint Lucia, from July 24 – 28.