The annual Singapore Maritime Week has become a must-attend calendar event for shipping executives, drawing them to the city-state to discuss industry concerns with their peers.

The week began on a high note when it was revealed that Singapore had once again retained its position as the leading maritime city in the world, according to DNV and Menon’s Leading Maritime Cities report.

Singapore has punched well above its weight in driving the decarbonising of shipping and the development of new maritime technologies that will allow the industry to do so.

Technology and decarbonisation dominated topics at the numerous conferences, workshops and seminars covering technology, finance, insurance, manpower and talent, environment, regulatory cooperation and law.

Yet, a prevalent sentiment emerging from conference panels, like those at Xinde Marine Forum and Capital Link, suggested a substantial gap remains between the capabilities of cash-rich industry giants and those of small and medium shipowners, who operate with considerably fewer resources.

Strong calls were made for a standardised, global regulatory framework to allow for a more level playing field for all industry stakeholders.

While conferences, dinners and cocktail parties are the public face of Singapore Maritime Week, the real action often happens behind the scenes with closed-door discussions between government officials, trade delegations and private business.