After long periods of development throughout history, Singapore, the country that was once simply associated with fishermen, is now well known throughout the world as a major player in the maritime based economy. Singapore’s success as a maritime port hub is mainly attributed to its strategic location, having efficient connections to numerous routes throughout the world. As proof of its success, a large amount of Singapore’s national income is in fact generated through these marine based operations, reaching up to seven percent (Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore [MPA], 2009a).
When considering the amount of companies and individuals involved, this fact does not come as a surprise. In addition, it has been documented that over a hundred shipping groups coming from various regions all over the world are conducting business in the Singapore port hubs (MPA, 2009a). Also, the hub ports serve over 140,000 vessel calls per year, thus providing Singapore with a reputation as the busiest port throughout the world (MPA, 2009a). These facts and numbers are still just a few examples, but they serve as a testament to the importance and role of Singapore in shaping the current maritime global economy.
Since Singapore is a maritime business hot spot, it is evident that the Singapore government and authorities will always act in making sure that Singapore stays as such whatever the situation may be. Currently, majority of the world’s countries suffer through the global economic downturn, in other words, the recession. These are times when financial difficulties of various kinds occur, causing companies to suffer great losses as they experience increasing debts and lowering income. News about various establishments closing down and accepting bankruptcy has also been common as of late.
Hence, when global businesses become problematic, there is a high chance for the Singapore ports to incur problems as well since the income from these ports is dependent on how active the economy is. This is where the activity and relevance of the MPA, Singapore’s main authoritative branch over maritime matters, come into play. The MPA looks over the needs and actions of both port operators and shipping companies, where their utmost concern is to be sure not only is sustainability achieved but also improvement (MPA, 2009b).
In today’s economy, it is required for every business-related sector to take actions so as not to greatly suffer through the economic downturn, these actions are also in response to fierce competition. Currently, the MPA takes such actions in the form of rules that it implements. The laws regarding maritime and related matters are all tailored to be supportive towards businesses. In relation to this, taxes are presented in a level so as not to be a significant set back for companies (MPA, 2009c).
Examples of these business-friendly terms are as follows: (1) Ship registration in Singapore is not only made easy but also loaded with various benefits, wherein registry is handled by the Singapore Registry of Ships; (2) in relation to the rules being business-oriented, Singapore has provided online means to register a business featuring a low processing fee and fast approval; and (3) large overseas firms that already possess a vast amount of manpower may easily bring their employees if working passes are acquired (MPA, 2009c).
Generally, maritime Singapore is well-rounded and appealing for business, but appeal towards the general population of employees is also considered. The MPA presents Singapore and its ports to be a safe working environment and also opens the option for settlement (MPA, 2009d). For further appeal, to imply that everything is moving towards improvement, the MPA has also become more involved in various pursuits of maritime research and development. Therefore, in the current state of economic downturn, the MPA stays more relevant than ever in maintaining the top position of Singapore in the maritime economy.
Realizing that it is not enough to simply rely on the inherent strategic location of Singapore, the MPA makes sure that a competitive edge is maintained. Thus, it strives to make things even better and more appealing for businesses by imposing various laws and terms for the benefit of these firms. References Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. (2009). Gateway to Asia. MPA Singapore. Retrieved March 19, 2009, from http://www. mpa. gov. sg/sites/maritime_singapore/what_is_maritime_singapore/gateway_to_asia. page. Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. (2009). Premiere Hub Port. MPA Singapore. Retrieved March 19, 2009, from
http://www. mpa. gov. sg/sites/maritime_singapore/what_is_maritime_singapore/premier_hub_port. page. Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. (2009). Setting up your maritime business. MPA Singapore. Retrieved March 19, 2009, from http://www. mpa. gov. sg/sites/business_and_enterprise/setting_up_your_maritime_business/setting_up_your_maritime_business. page. Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. (2009). What Maritime Singapore Offers. MPA Singapore. Retrieved March 19, 2009, from http://www. mpa. gov. sg/sites/maritime_singapore/what_maritime_singapore_offer/what_maritime_singapore_offer. page.