THE ASSOCIATION of Panamanian Shipowners (ARPA) has joined the International Chamber of Shipping as an associate member.

Shipowners and vessel operators launched ARPA in 2020 with an aim to strengthen Panama’s shipping industry and contribute to the country’s social, economic and environmental improvement.

The ICS said it has a strong relationship with Panama’s maritime stakeholders, including a long-term relationship with the Panama Canal Authority.

ICS said ARPA’s membership would build on relationships across the maritime sector as the industry addresses issues such as piracy, seafarer welfare and training, digitalisation, automation and decarbonisation.

ICS secretary general Guy Platten said he was delighted to welcome ARPA to associate ICS membership.

“We all know that our challenges are bigger than any one country, shipowner, or national member association, and as such we must collaborate to achieve our joint goals,” he said.

“The Association of Panamanian Shipowners’ associate membership of ICS will help us to build on the great relationships we already have with Panama’s shipping industry.

“I look forward to working together to further our important work, from decarbonisation to digitisation, seafarer training and much more.”

ARPA executive director Jose Digeronimo said joining the International Chamber of Shipping would help ensure sustainable growth for Panama’s maritime sector.  

“We expect that this membership will open communications channels between shipowners and member associations in the country that holds one of the largest and leading ship registries in the world, and will also benefit shipowners globally.”

ICS noted the government of Panama signed up to the Clean Energy Marine Hubs initiative at COP27 last November.

The initiative, formally launched on 20 July 2023, is a cross-sectoral public-private initiative aiming to accelerate the production, export and import of low-carbon fuels across the world.