A full house last night at the very top of Capital Tower in the heart of Singapore’s square mile – were the premises of the unique China Club, participated in the discussion/debate under the theme: “Global Shipping Challenges, Geopolitical Issues and Risk Remedies”, the Hellenic Business Network Association’s event, sponsored by Bank of Singapore’s International Private Banking Department, following the successful Singapore Maritime Week earlier this month.
Aftre a pre-discussion/debate drinks reception, the event was introduced by Eleni Deligianni, secretary general of HNBA and the speakers by the Chairman of the event Dimitris Belbas of Seafin Pte Ltd., who set also the scene.
John Faraclas, the event’s guest speaker was as controversial as ever trying to pass the message that “…we live and operate in a very turbulent and volatile environment and the industry, given the fact that is operates extremely freely, needs some short of curbs and a kind of regulation to avoid the overcapacity – one aspect mentioned from the audience, bankruptcies, effects of man-made disasters and natural ones as a result of which, coupled with political “madness”, fraud and corruption as well as scams, the entire world is in danger, despite that the fundamentals are right!”
Faraclas exercised extreme criticism on the politicians, the business hooligans and mentioned facts with examples as well as situations taking place even as he was speaking to bring in the absolute and provoke discussion, which he did.
Legislation, HR coupled with CSR given the MLC 2006, safety and security issues including piracy and terrorism, the US attitude, China’s strange games, Iran’s nukes et al, the hype of the Arab-Israeli conflict, North Korean’s attitude with the provocation on international peace by Kim Jung-un, Japan’s behaviour, the South China Sea becoming the world’s new flash point, Indonesia on the side lines but ready to get into the melee of the region’s heated arena, Russia’s up and coming hegemony and attitude in its close periphery with the former Soviet Union’s Republics “situation”, the North Sea Route, the Panama Canal saga and all dire straits sagas, be it Constantinople, Suez or the Straits of Malacca, Indonesia, Australia; Taxation issues with Flags of Necessity at the fore front of his discussion; The American Dream and what was the situation 200 years ago when the “immigrants” formed the new world and “left behind” Europe’s tradition of inherited aristocracy and rentier wealth, picking also on the unequal distribution of wealth and the returns on accumulated wealth which are so high that riches are increasingly inherited and not made!
Moreover he touched the structure of ownership vis-à-vis safety issues, given what happens if a listed company’s vessel pollutes, in comparison with what happens with a non-listed company’s vessel if she pollutes… He stressed that despite what is being said about the shipping industry’s pollution record, the shipping industry is the best and by far the cleanest of all the rest put together, as its total emissions are only 2, 7 centum of the world’s total, an enviable record! Pandemics too were discussed, natural disasters and their effect such as the Icelandic volcano eruption, the Tsunamis, and other natural disasters…
Faraclas referred to the state of the BDI and the wet markets, cautioning all present on what is else to come, given the levels of freight rates at present in the markets with hte BDI being below the 1, 000 point mark, and if an earthquake of eight in the Richter scale comes up in the markets, it will affect all to the worst extent.
The Greek case enfolding over the last three plus years with a “bankrupt” nation which in no way can be compared with Argentina, as the press from time to time tries to portray, what should happen in Greece, and that the world and the lenders are to blame, as the Greek people are suffering from dirty party international politics; you need two in a tango.
The discussants panellists Christos Tsakonas and George Kypraios where very simple and to the point, raising questions too. Both were great wingmen and complemented well the event/discussion with their targeted comments.
Christos Tsakonas regional head of Asia-Shipping, Offshore and Logistics from DNB Asia Ltd gave the audience a sharp but to the point position on the subject… Equally, the very eloquent George Kypraios, a senior director-Asia of ICON Capital Corporation, kick-started an interesting Q&A session…
Kevin Oates from Marine Money, Nicholas Kosmatos from Sealink Navigation Inc., Stamatia Petropoulou from GEP A PAC, Aris Stamoulis from Resolute Trading, Mick Aw from Moore Stephens, Wu Siong Yen from Seabliss Marine Services Pte Ltd., where amongst those asking questions, as well as participating in Q&A’s amongst the audience.
The event was nicely wrapped-up by the chairman Dimitris Belbas who invited the speakers and guests to the reception for further discussion, networking and entertainment.
At this lively reception with the excellent dips and drinks from the great cuisine of the China Club it was a great chance to see how small the shipping world is despite the major figures involved to all intents and purposes.
A small video taken at the beginning of J. Faraclas’ presentation follows: