Mersey Maritime to host major UK summit on maritime and global trade

Maritime industry leaders and senior Government trade officials will converge on Birkenhead in December to provide the latest information on export and investment support. Tony McDonough reports

Mersey Maritime chief executive Chris Shirling-Rooke at the Maritime Knowledge Hub


Mersey Maritime is to host a high-level summit for UK maritime industry leaders and senior Government trade officials in the next few weeks.

They will converge on the Mersey Maritime Knowledge Hub in Birkenhead on Monday, December 4, with the aim of providing the industry with the latest information on export and investment support.

Brexit looms

With the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union now less than two years away it is vital the maritime sector gears itself for a seismic change in the way Britain trades with the rest of the world.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) Maritime UK are behind the idea for the Maritime Export & Investment Forum which they will hold three times a year at different locations around the country.

Each one will be chaired Russell Gould, chairman of the Society of Maritime Industries, and its aims are:

  • For industry to learn about the export and investment support provided by government and engage in 1-2-1 discussion with those providers of support
  • For the Government to hear feedback on its plans and priorities in the export and investment arena
  • To inform all of relevant activity and provide catalyst for engagement
  • To bring together the breadth of the UK maritime sector and government departments with an interest in maritime exports and investment.

A core team comprising DIT, Maritime UK and its trade association members will continue to engage in strategic discussions. These strategic discussions will be informed and shaped by the forum.

Trading relationships

High on the agenda at the December event in Birkenhead will be future trade with China, Brazil, South Korea, Japan, ASEAN, India.

Brexit will significantly change Britain’s trading relationship with the world


Chris Shirling-Rooke, chief executive of Mersey Maritime, said: “Liverpool city region is one of the most important strategic locations in the UK for the maritime and international trade sectors and the decision to hold the December forum here reflects that.

“In 2019 Britain will leave the European Union and that departure, in whatever form it takes. will be one of the biggest economic events in decades.

“We know through dialogue with our own members that they are keen to maximise the opportunities the post-Brexit world will offer. These forums will provide a vital link with Government and offer invaluable information in what will be an historic period.”

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