International maritime conference set for February 2-4
An array of topics are expected to be dissected at the third annual Bahamas International Maritime Conference and Trade Show(BIMCATS), yet the coordinator of the event says a key international agreement will be the main topic of discussion.
Anya Symonette toldGuardian Businessyesterday that the Maritime Labor Convention of 2006 will be greatly discussed during the event, which is scheduled for February 2-4 at the Our Lucaya Beach and Golf Resort in Grand Bahama.
“(That international agreement)promotes the well-being of a seafarer,”Symonette said.”It was ratified in 2008 and it’s committed to doing certain things to improve the standard of mariners that travel on ships and in our waters. These are very important discussions that will be disseminated over the next few days.”BIMCATS 2011 is expected to host up to 300 stakeholders in the maritime sector from 41 countries around the world. Five high-level meetings will occur during the conference period. Under the theme”The Mariner: Building on the Year of the Seafarer,”the seminar will focus on issues centered around attracting and retaining the mariner, which is considered the industry’s most important resource.
Some of the areas that will be touched on include the impact of the industry’s measures to address the current mariner shortage, what measures are being examined in terms of the training and continued professional development of mariners, and the maritime opportunities available in The Bahamas, among other topics.
Symonette said the conference is key in fostering the growth of the sector on the global level.
“It’s a very big conference for The Bahamas, as were the ones in the previous years,”she said.”The maritime industry is really big in the country and we are considered the maritime hub for this area.”
Symonette also mentioned that during the conference period the venue will shift throughout Grand Bahama, a move that is geared to get residents more familiar with the maritime industry and to create networking opportunities.
“This is our third year doing it and we kept delegates at the conference center each year, but what we want to do this time is ensure that Grand Bahamians are beneficiaries of the event, so we decided to take the conference activities out there,”Symonette said.”This is something we want them to participate in and the public should take full advantage of it.”