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patrick verhoeven

Top speakers at European Shipping Week

The Presidency of the European Council of Ministers has joined the European Commission and European Parliament in granting official patronage to the forthcoming European Shipping Week which will be held in Brussels during March 2‐6, 2015.

In a letter to Patrick Verhoeven, Secretary General of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), Anrijs Matiss, Latvian Minister of Transport, gave his full support to the week-long event.

He said: “Taking into account the vital importance of the shipping industry for the European economy and society, I would be honoured to grant the patronage of the European Shipping Week and would like to express my full support to the event, aimed at facilitating discussions between the EU institutions and European shipowners and other stakeholders from the shipping sector.”

This news follows confirmation of top level industry and regulatory speakers attending the official European Shipping Week conference.

Violeta Bulc, European Transport Commissioner, Michael Cramer, Member of the European Parliament and Markku Mylly, Executive Director of the European Maritime Safety Agency will join the heads of the European and Global shipping industry as invited speakers at the inaugural flagship conference to be held as part of European Shipping Week 2015.

The conference, to be held on Wednesday March 4th, at the Plaza Theatre in Brussels, will attract in excess of 400 top ship owners and European and global regulators as delegates. Themes under discussion will include driving innovation within European shipping; plugging the maritime skills gap and focusing on the important role a highly competitive and efficient shipping industry will play in Europe’s future wellbeing.

Departing a little from normal conference styles, the European Shipping Week conference will focus strongly on keynote speeches punctuated with high-level interactive panel debates. Invited and confirmed Moderators include top industry commentators such as Julian Bray, Editor-in-Chief at Tradewinds.

Other speakers invited and confirmed as attending include Kjesti Kleven, Chairman of the Board at Kleven Maritime; Philippe Louis Dreyfus, President of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs; Jos Dings, Director, Transport & Environment; Dan Sten Olsson, CEO of Stena Sphere, Tor Egil Svensen, CEO Maritime, DNV GL; as well as Mark Dickinson, General Secretary of Nautilus International and senior executives from Holman Fenwick Willan and Wärtsilä. Emanuele Grimaldi, Managing Director of the Grimaldi Group has also confirmed his attendance as has Alfred Hartmann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Hartmann AG; while Fotis Karamitsos, Director of Maritime Transport at the European Commission, has been invited. The heads of the shipping industry’s main owner associations have also been invited to speak.

Patrick Verhoeven, Secretary General of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), pictured right, welcomed news that some of the top leaders in European and Global shipping would be speaking at, and attending, the ESW conference.

He said: “Important issues such as the sustainability of European shipping; how does it compare to its global competitors; and to what extent can innovation foster sustainability will all come under the spotlight.

“A strong European shipping industry also needs to tap into a ready and highly competent workforce but what has to be done to make EU seafarers more competitive compared to their non-EU colleagues? Other questions to be debated at the conference include the overall competitiveness of EU shipping and how it can maintain the benefits of its competitive edge in the face of mounting global competition,” he added.

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