The Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB) of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) held the 2021 Shipping Affairs Conference at the B1 international conference hall of the Institute of Transportation, MOTC building on December 24, where public associations and major industry players were invited to participate. Over 80 honorable guests joined the conference, with Mr. Chi Wen-Chong, Administrative Deputy Minister of the MOTC, as the host. The conference focused on four topics, namely seafarers, ports, vessels, and green energy to grasp the development trends of the international maritime industry. The conference will allow the MPB and maritime industry to prepare more accurately for future challenges and opportunities together, creating even more outstanding results.
Administrative Deputy Minister Chi stated in his speech that inviting maritime-related industries and holding the Shipping Affairs Conference at the end of each year is a great tradition of the MPB. The conference is not only a great communication platform between the public and private sectors, it also serves as a forum to discuss Taiwan’s maritime and port development trends; furthermore, the conference provides a space to address pending issues, serving as important reference for administrative affairs in the future.
Administrative Deputy Minister Chi also mentioned that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly reduced domestic tourism demand. For this reason, the government has offered relief packages to boost tourism-related industries. This year, under the impacts of COVID-19, even though the global maritime industry had reached a decade-long high, it also faced many difficulties such as crew changes, epidemic prevention, container shortage, vessel shortage, and ships idling off ports causing delays. On the other hand, the Energy Transition Policy has led to the promotion of offshore wind power in Taiwan; this is both an opportunity and a challenge to the development of maritime industries in Taiwan. Complementary measures for setting the locations of offshore wind farms must be planned comprehensively to ensure the navigation safety of vessels. Furthermore, Taiwan is endeavoring to sign a bilateral trade agreement with the U.S. To increase our competitiveness through coordination and communication efforts, while following the green energy trend of the international maritime industry, LNG vessels have already been implemented; in addition, the government has also accelerated the planning of projects to build corresponding ports, in order to meet the future needs of shipping carriers’ route deployment.
The MPB stated that after exchanging ideas with industry representatives through this conference, partial concrete results and consensus have been reached, including the cultivation of seafarers. By collaborating with maritime colleges and universities, the MPB can help junior-year students who are interested in working on vessels obtain their seafarer certifications. And by the time they graduate, they would be able to start working immediately, increasing the seafarer manpower of Taiwan. Furthermore, to increase the vaccination rate of seafarers on board, the MPB has filed a request to the Central Epidemic Command Center to vaccinate seafarers in designated areas of ports to boost seafarers’ immunities. The MPB is also working with the Central Epidemic Command Center to increase the monthly border entry quotas by vessel and plane to 150 people each, facilitating crew changes during the pandemic. Referencing problems such as idling vessels congesting the ports and port backlogs caused by the current pandemic, the MPB has also asked the Taiwan International Ports Corporation (TIPC) to make an inventory of the current port facilities in Taiwan’s international commercial ports, and to adjust operations to increase efficiency, bearing future plans in mind. TIPC will also cooperate with future green energy policy trends, and set up corresponding port services and facilities to establish green ports and increase the competitiveness of Taiwan‘s international commercial ports. The MPB and TIPC will continue to assist businesses in the industry and collect their opinions, which will serve as reference for future policy planning. As the strongest supporter of the industry, we will advance toward our goals: “people-centric maritime industry and ports, well-connected maritime transport, quality environment, and sustainable shipping.”
Contact person: Cheng, Chin-Chou, Senior Executive Officer, Maritime Affairs Division
Contact number: +886-2-8972550