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SINGAPORE has retained the number one spot in the Leading Maritime Cities report conducted by classification society DNV and Menon.

The 2022 edition of the report was launched recently at an event hosted by the Singapore Maritime Foundation, providing fresh insights into which global hubs offer the best infrastructure, technology, finance, and world-class talent.

There have been many dramatic developments since the last edition of the LMC report was published in 2019. These include COVID, extreme weather, climate change, and the decarbonisation and digitalisation of shipping.

DNV Maritime CEO Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen said, “Maritime cities and clusters are generating unique strategies to cope with these global transformations. They will play a leading role in the green shift, with new business models that drive the transition”.

The LMC report benchmarks each maritime city based on five key pillars: shipping; maritime finance and law; maritime technology; ports and logistics; and attractiveness and competitiveness.

Dr Shahrin Osman, regional head of maritime advisory at DNV and the report’s co-author, said, “Singapore holds the top slot for attractiveness and competitiveness while also scooping the maritime technology title, thanks to the city-state’s unrelenting focus on digital transformation.

“Singapore gives way to Athens and Shanghai in shipping and ports and logistics respectively, and losing some ground in maritime finance and law,” said Dr Osman.

Two European cities feature in the top three as well.

“Rotterdam’s second place demonstrates that it’s a maritime city on the rise. Although only tenth in shipping, the Dutch hub scores well overall and particularly in ports and logistics and attractiveness and competitiveness,” Dr Osman said.

“London is also among the top contenders, from fifth to third place overall, however it has lost out its previous top slot in maritime finance  and law to New York.”

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Fourth and fifth place overall go to Asian counterparts Shanghai followed by all-rounder Tokyo.

Menon partner Dr Erik W Jakobsen, co-author of the report, said, “The 2022 analysis uses some new and more comprehensive objective and subjective indicators, as well as data sources, for each pillar.

“This facilitates more refined benchmarking of the relative performance of each city.”

Subjective indicators reveal the perceptions and assessments of 280 invited business executives – mostly shipowners and managers – from around the world.

Looking five years ahead, they predict that Singapore will remain number one, with Shanghai coming in second. London, Oslo and Rotterdam are seen as leading the field in Europe, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi competing hard in the Middle East, India and Africa region. Dubai is predicted to grab sixth place overall by 2027.

The experts see Singapore, Oslo, Shanghai and Copenhagen as best prepared for digital transformation, while Oslo tops the list for sustainable technologies and solutions for the oceans, followed by Singapore and Copenhagen.

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