SINGAPORE (Apr 26): Twenty members of the Port Authorities Roundtable (PAR) from Asia, Europe, Middle East, and North America came together on Friday to declare their commitment to keep their ports remaining open during the Covid-19 outbreak.

According to a press release by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Friday, the Singapore-initiated declaration calls for maritime countries – running major ports such as Abu Dhabi, Antwerp, Tokyo, Guangzhou, Busan, Barcelona, Bangkok, Los Angeles, Rotterdam, and Shanghai – to collaborate and share best practices so that port operations can remain undisrupted.

Through this declaration, the countries commit to ensure that merchant ships can continue to berth at their respective ports and keep the global supply chain going. They will also share experiences in combating Covid-19, amongst other terms.

Quah Ley Hoon, CEO of the MPA says that it is important to keep Singapore’s ports open and goods moving. “Port authorities have to take enhanced precautions for their ports and on ships, as well as manage the stress faced by our seafarers and maritime personnel,” she says.

“We have come together to make a declaration of our commitment, exchange experiences and share best practices. This virtual declaration by members countries across different geographical regions is also a first for the PAR”, she says.

“We came out of the session gaining more valuable knowledge to ensure that necessities and essential medical supplies continue to be transported seamlessly across the world and into our respective countries,” she adds.

Singapore, ranked as the world’s second-busiest container port, after Shanghai, is a key node in the global supply chain. Singapore’s trade volume is more than three times its GDP.