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PH ranked 28th among world’s leading maritime hubs

Manila has been included in the list of maritime cities expected to gain increasing prominence in the Asian region in the next five years, according to the latest report of Norwegian consultancy firm Menon Economics.

Manila ranked 28th in the list. For the third consecutive year, Singapore was rated as the leading maritime capital of the world. It was followed by Hamburg, Oslo, Shanghai, and London.

Along with Jakarta in Indonesia, Manila was selected by industry experts as one of the maritime cities growing in importance, according to Menon’s “The Leading Maritime Capitals 2017” report released recently.

The report noted that the Philippines “surpassed its European competitors to become the fourth largest shipbuilding nation in 2014. The country currently has the world’s fourth largest orderbook measured in dwt (dead weight tonnage), but falls behind European yards measured in value.”

The biennial report benchmarks the 30 leading maritime city regions around the world in four maritime sectors: shipping, finance and law, technology, and ports and logistics, together with an overall assessment of the cities’ attractiveness and competitiveness. This year’s report rests on a broad set of almost 50 indicators, combining both objective and subjective measures. More than 250 industry experts from more than 40 countries participated in the study.

“While the top three cities (Singapore, Hamburg and Oslo) are the same as in the 2015-report, this does not imply that the power structure within the global maritime industry is unchanged. For instance, the increasing importance of China in the maritime industry is evident by the fact that Shanghai climbs from the fifth, to the fourth most important maritime capital. Hong Kong, on the other hand, is challenged as a maritime hub by other cities in the region,” Menon said in a press release.

In terms of shipping centers, Singapore also once again led the list, followed by Hamburg, Athens, London, and Hong Kong.

The report said Singapore’s strength lies largely in its geographic location with close proximity to important markets.

For maritime finance and law, London was assessed as the top maritime city. It was followed by Oslo, New York, Singapore, and Shanghai. Menon said London is number one for both law-related services and marine insurance, as the city is home to world-leading institutions, such as Lloyd’s for insurance, and English law is the most widely applied in shipping disputes.

In maritime technology, Oslo retained its first spot, followed by Asian cities Busan, Singapore, Tokyo, and Shanghai. The report noted that one of the most important technology companies in the Norwegian cluster and one of the world’s leading maritime research and development companies, DNV GL, has its head office in Oslo. The Oslo region also hosts world-leading equipment producers, like Kongsberg Maritime and smaller specialized tech companies such as Xeneta.

Singapore once again led in the area of ports and logistics services, being home to the world’s second largest port. Menon also ranks the city as the world’s leading port city followed by Rotterdam, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Hamburg.

Singapore likewise ranked first in attractiveness and competitiveness, followed by Copenhagen, Oslo, Hamburg, and Dubai.

“Singapore is clearly the most attractive and competitive maritime city in the world, both measured by objective indicators and the experts’ assessments,” the report said. While there are many reasons for Singapore’s attractiveness as a maritime city, such as its strategic location and business-friendly policies, the report said its favorable and predictable policy framework is probably the most important source of attractiveness.

Looking five years into the future, Menon predicts that Singapore will still keep its position as the global leader, while Shanghai is expected to increase its importance and become the second most important maritime city.

The race to be the leading city in Europe is still open, with Hamburg, Oslo, Rotterdam, and London as the leading contenders in this regional race. In the Middle East, India and Africa region, Dubai is the leading center, predicted to continue to grow in importance and become the world’s sixth most important maritime center by 2022. – Roumina Pablo

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