World Maritime Days conclude in Szczecin

The 2018 edition of the United Nations' World Maritime Days closed in Szczecin (northwestern Poland) on Friday, as Polish Maritime Economy Minister Marek Gróbarczyk said the government is focusing on new technologies, intelligent solutions and eco-friendly projects.

The three-day event was co-organised by the Polish Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation and the specialised UN agency, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

It brought together 800 delegates from around the world, including 15 ministers, as well as maritime experts, businessmen and maritime educators. They represented such countries as Ghana, Nigeria, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, China, Iran, the Republic of South Africa, Thailand, Colombia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia.

During the WMD 2018, guests discussed such topics as intelligent and eco-friendly navigation, cyber-security, new transport routes and the future of the maritime jobs market. Bilateral meetings at the highest level also took place.

"I thank you, dear lady and gentleman ministers, for coming to my country," Gróbarczyk said at the closing ceremony, "and I deeply believe you will leave here convinced that Poland is a hospitable country, widely open for working together and with an enormous maritime potential."

The minister noted that debates among ministers and experts at WMD 2018 confirmed that "in the maritime economy, we are placing an emphasis on new technologies, intelligent solutions and investments which respect the natural environment."

"In this spirit," he added, "we will be supporting the making of laws and regulations for maritime navigation at the forum of the IMO."

Gróbarczyk also expressed his conviction that such an international event, attended by government officials and businessmen, will result in concrete cooperation in the future.

"The port of Szczecin-Świnoujście, which hosted us here, has launched a wide-scale investment," the minister said. "We have an ambitious plan - in the immediate future, we plan to strengthen Poland's position in the whole world."

As he said farewell to the guests, Gróbarczyk emphasised that "Poland and Szczecin are always, absolutely always open to you." IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim thanked the organisers and noted maritime navigation is the foundation for the growth of economies around the globe.

Finally, a flag of the IMO was presented to the representative of Colombia, where WMD 2019 will be held. Earlier, the Maritime Academy in Gdynia (northern Poland) and Colombia's National Maritime Administration signed a letter of intent on cooperation, student exchange and promotion