The Danish Maritime Forum will take place at a time when the future of the industry looks more uncertain than ever. For the first time in decades, growth in world trade is falling well below global economic growth. Although the global economy has continued to expand, it is doing so at rates lower than we might have expected after the recovery. Economic prospects in key emerging markets remain uncertain and it is not obvious where a powerful new engine of growth is to be found. Coupled with the industry’s overcapacity, this unexpected slowdown in demand is widening the supply-demand gap, with low freight rates and dwindling order books to follow.
There is no indication that this trend will be short-lived. We may be entering a phase of profound uncertainty in the evolution of the global economy. Regionalism is on the rise and an increasing number of state and non-state actors are jockeying for power, resources and other strategic gains. The rise of protectionism is eroding the very basis for global collaboration. It is undermining our ability to address structural shifts in the global economy and to make the growth more inclusive. Governments are failing to coordinate monetary and fiscal policies and appear unwilling to forge new trade deals, hampering the business community’s ability to expand cross-national supply chains. Near-sourcing is gaining traction. As a consequence, lower growth rates may in fact be the new normal.
Seaborne transport is the backbone of globalization and international trade. The Danish Maritime Forum 2016 will explore how the maritime industry can contribute to advancing long-term sustainable economic growth to the benefit of all. Building on the discussions during past Forums, this year’s gathering will address key challenges facing the industry and foster dialogue on possible ways forward.
The ambition of the Danish Maritime Forum is to create a more collaborative environment between the many private and public stakeholders in the maritime value chain, and the above are some of the issues that will be addressed at the next Forum to unleash the potential of the global maritime industry to increase long term economic development and human wellbeing.
In 2016, the Danish Maritime Forum will take place on 26-27 October and is by invitation only.