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The COVID-19 outbreak has had a During the pandemic, more than
signi cant impact on global supply chain
and the world’s economy. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy is projected to contract by 3 percent in 2020, much worse than during the 2008–09  nancial crisis.
The World Trade Organization (WTO) also expects global trade to fall by between 13 percent and 32 percent in 2020 as the COVID 19 pandemic disrupts normal economic activity and life around the world.
During this time of crisis, Singapore port remained open for cargo operations and marine services, including bunkering, ship supplies and shipyard repairs, to ensure commerce by sea and global supply chains remain undisrupted.
To prepare and support the maritime industry in a post-COVID world, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) rolled out a S$27 million MaritimeSG Together Package to provide targeted support for maritime companies, individuals and seafarers. The package included further  nancial support for maritime companies such as port dues concession and rebate on counter rental and overnight berthing, greater support for upskilling and digital transformation efforts, and  nancial and employment support for Singaporean seafarers. These took effect from 1 May 2020, on top of economic relief measures provided under the Singapore Budget series - Resilience, Solidarity, Unity, and Fortitude, which was announced Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Mr Heng Swee Keat.
Accelerating Digital Transformation Efforts COVID-19 has brought a renewed urgency for automation and digitalisation to mitigate disruptive impact on the maritime industry.
500 shipping companies could access
digitalPORT@SG to get a one-stop
clearance to enter or leave Singapore port. Late last year, Singapore rolled out its digitalPORT@ SGTM to facilitate digital transactions. By 2021, the system will be enhanced to also serve as a single digital shopfront for booking terminal and marine services, facilitating just-in-time (JIT) operations for optimal vessel passage planning within Singapore port.
MPA is also working with other countries’ maritime and port authorities, port operators and shipping companies to link digitalPORT@SGTM to their respective platforms, to create a seamless cross-border digital network where different systems can be linked up to interoperate. digitalOCEANSTM will see the digitalisation of global shipping, which not only reduces human interactions, but allows shipping to yield a new level of ef ciency with lower emissions.
COVID-19 has shown how crucial it is to build digital capabilities in Singapore’s maritime ecosystem. Innovation and digital solutions continue to be a priority for MPA.
Smart Port Challenge (SPC) is one key platform to develop innovative solutions for maritime companies.
On 4 May 2020, MPA and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), awarded 12 start-ups from Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @ BLOCK71 (PIER71)’s Smart Port Challenge (SPC) 2019 with grant funding of S$50,000. The funding will enable the start-ups, for the next 12 months, to conduct prototype development and test-bed their near market-ready solutions in collaboration with PIER71’s maritime corporate partners focused on technologies such as arti cial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality (V/ AR), blockchain, robotics and wearables.
“ Although the
global COVID-19 situation has caused widespread disruption, we push ahead
with innovation
in the maritime sector. Singapore continues to support the use of emerging technologies to transform the maritime industry, uplift the way companies do their business and strengthen our resilience as a maritime nation.
Ms Quah Ley Hoon,
Chief Executive of MPA

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