The capacity of OECS Port Authorities to minimise 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 Programme (SCP).
The second phase of the OECS-SCP Joint Training Programme on Maritime Port Management in the OECS was held at the Coco Palm Hotel in St. Lucia from July 24-28, 2017.
The workshop was facilitated by STET Maritime Services (STET MS), a division of ST Electronics (Training & Simulation Systems) Pte Ltd, specialising in providing education, training and consultancy services to the Maritime Industry.
Specific objectives of the OECS-SCP workshop were to:
• equip participants with a better understanding of maritime port management, maritime port planning and terminal operations;
• address practical issues on maritime port readiness, maritime port safety, efficiency and emergency preparedness; and
• tap into best practices of the management of maritime ports and terminals in Singapore.
Captain Mark Heah, representative from ST Electronics (Training & Simulation Systems), said the OECS region is ideally positioned for the development of sea transport providing Member States make the effort to move forward together in the maritime arena.
“The Caribbean is well known for its sun, sand and surf and this should be taken advantage of. I am sure, that with all the Member States coming together, the OECS will be able to ensure the viability and the progress of their maritime industry in this part of the world,” said Heah.
OECS Director General, Dr. Didacus Jules said that the OECS – Singapore Cooperation Program is a strong productive partnership ultimately aimed at improving the competitiveness of the region for enhanced citizen prosperity.
“Trade facilitation and logistical costs are important determinants for the competitiveness of trade-dependent economies and we are grateful to our friends in Singapore for helping augment our own trade management systems and practices.
“A key objective of the OECS is to improve the competitiveness of the region as a global trading partner, in part by reducing the time and cost of moving goods between countries, and to that end the sharing of knowledge through the training has been invaluable,” said Dr. Jules.
Mr. Darwin Telemaque, Port Manager of the Antigua & Barbuda Ports Authority, considered the five day workshop as a significant mark 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 then [facilitated] 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 our 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,” said Telemaque.
Telemaque also noted the unique opportunity that the workshop provided for regional Port Managers, with similar mandates, to share their experiences, challenges, and commonalities.
“I am going over to Antigua better prepared with more relevant information that we can use to enhance the operation of the Port Authority and also build the capacity of our staff,” Telemanque commented.
The high-level training was delivered to OECS Port Managers and Senior Port Officials over a five day interactive workshop which implemented the use of a series of lectures, discussions, video presentations and case studies.
The training provided practical solutions in addressing issues of:
• efficiency of maritime port operations;
• adequacy and quality of maritime port equipment and infrastructure; and
• efficiency of intra-regional transportation logistics.
STET Maritime Services (STET MS) is the leading Recognised Security Organisation (RSO), appointed by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) for Port Facilities in Singapore.