Jamaica is looking to take advantage of its strategic location on international shipping routes to develop its maritime sector. From April 17 to 19, maritime professionals gathered at the Hyatt Ziva Hotel in Montego Bay to learn, discuss and interact with local, regional and overseas players focusing on the topics, challenges and opportunities of the bunkering industry.
It was a great success, with record attendance for the IBIA bunkering course led by Nigel Draffin, and a solid turnout for the two-day conference programme that heard keynote speeches from two government ministers.
But don’t take our word for it! Local press has been carrying high praise for the event, citing MAJ Director General, Rear Admiral (Retired) Peter Brady highlighting the “opportunity for local stakeholders to network and interact with overseas players” and to showcase Jamaica’s maritime industry, its plans and future prospects with a view to attracting further investments.
MAJ Director for Legal Affairs, Bertrand Smith, was quoted in local press saying that the conference was held in Jamaica to educate maritime stakeholders on legislative changes for the industry; promoting Jamaica as a serious bunkering location; and providing networking opportunities to sector interests.
Dr the Hon Andrew Wheatley, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, provided the keynote address at the opening ceremony. “The conference is of tremendous value not only in relation to our bunkering industry, but also in terms of the unparalleled opportunities for the establishment of a range of ancillary services to the global shipping industry as we move towards making Jamaica a major maritime centre in the Caribbean. Jamaica will always be an ideal location for shipping and increasingly, we are becoming a significant location for bunkering,” he was quoted saying.
Minister of Transport and Mining the Hon Robert Montague, addressing a gala dinner during the conference, also spoke about Jamaica’s potential to benefit from the generation of job opportunities and increased economic activity if the country grows its share of vessels passing through the Panama Canal and bunkering in Jamaica to 10%. He hailed the partnership with IBIA in the staging of the conference, and the Jamaica Gleaner said a joint conference between the MAJ and IBIA has proven to be an excellent fit. We couldn’t agree more, therefore IBIA has accepted MAJ’s proposal to return to Jamaica in 2019 and we look forward to working together again.
“The high level of support received for this event was overwhelming and reflects the growing importance of Jamaica and the wider Caribbean bunker markets,” says IBIA’s Chief Executive Officer Justin Murphy. IBIA would like to extend its thanks to the event hosts the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, along with our Platinum sponsors Aegean and West Indies Petroleum, Gold sponsors Petrojam and New Fortress Energy, Bronze sponsor The Port Authority of Jamaica, sponsors Petrotec and Portside Petroleum and the training sponsor;
the Caribbean Maritime University.
Contact one of the World Bunkering team.