Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 July 2019

Singapore holds top international maritime centre ranking for sixth year

Dubai ranks fifth in the 2019 Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development (ISCD) Index

Dubai maintained fifth place in the global port cities ranking. AFP
Dubai maintained fifth place in the global port cities ranking. AFP

Singapore retained its rank as the top international maritime hub for the sixth consecutive year in 2019 while Dubai maintained fifth place, making it the only Middle East city on the top 10 list.

The top five international shipping centres are Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Shanghai and Dubai in 2019, according to the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development (ISCD) Index. The index provides an independent ranking of the performance of the world's largest cities that offer port and shipping business services.

"Shanghai and Dubai are catching up with London in their level of shipping development and were ranked fourth and fifth, respectively," the report said. "Dubai, ranked fifth based on the evaluation score, is the shipping hub of the region."

In the six years since the index has been published, there has been a "general rise" in the performance of Asian and Middle East cities, the report said. The first report in 2014 included three European locations in the top five and in 2019 only London remains. Among the remaining top 10 cities this year are Rotterdam, Hamburg, New York - New Jersey, Houston and Athens.

The index ranks cities based on port throughput and facilities, range of professional maritime support services and general business environment.

The report is a collaboration between the Chinese state news agency Xinhua, and international freight benchmark provider Baltic Exchange.

Singapore remained the top ranking shipping centre for the sixth time based on evaluation scores that showed its strength in ship management and shipbroking services, the report said.

"Singapore commands a strategic position as a maritime hub in the regional and global arena," Lu Su Ling, Head of Baltic Exchange Asia. "The maritime industry is, and will remain, a big contributor to Singapore's economy and it is therefore important that we continue to innovate and invest in this sector to achieve long-term success."

Based on evaluation scores, Hong Kong is benefiting from China's Belt and Road Initiative and economic opportunities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, the report said.

The UAE’s draft maritime law, which is set to come into force by early next year, will allow people to register vessels under the Emirati flag and establish a new dispute mechanism to relieve pressure on the courts, while a new maritime development fund aims to support citizens who wish to invest in the sector. It will also pave the way for 100 per cent foreign ownership of maritime companies.

Updated: July 13, 2019 11:19 AM

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