Singapore’s transport minister Lui Tuck Yew said on 21 April that the maritime community must respond to the growth of shipping in Asia and prepare itself to ride on the many opportunities this will bring.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of Sea Asia 2015, one of the events in Singapore Maritime Week, Lui said, “Indeed, all signs suggest that Asia will drive global shipping in the coming years. Shipping patterns have shifted and will continue to move towards Asia.”
In 2014, Asia accounted for approximately 80% of global container throughput handled by the world’s top 30 ports.
Manufacturing growth in Asia is underpinning shipping in the region and is projected to grow further.
Lui said, “Asia is expected to grow 6.3% this year, the fastest growing region in the world. Asia’s share of world GDP is expected to increase from 30% [currently] to 41% by 2023.”
Asia’s rapidly growing wealth has given rise to an emerging middle class.
The region is now home to 500 million middle-class consumers.
“By 2030, it is expected that two-thirds of the world’s middle-class could live in Asia,” said Lui.
“Giving rising aspirations and affluence, we see Asia accounting for an increasing share of global consumption.”
Lui noted nine of the 10 busiest container ports are in Asia, a testament to the region’s growth.
“As Asian economies continue to grow, this confluence of factors – increasing inflows of raw materials and flow of goods to and from Asia and the growing concentration of shipowners, managers, and their demand for maritime services means that the shipping industry must focus more attention on Asia,” said Lui.