Bridgetown – Barbados Port Inc. (BPI) CEO, David Jean-Marie was named the new President of the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA) on the first day of its Annual General Meeting, Conference and Exhibition in Cartagena, Columbia. High on the meeting’s agenda was the opening up of Cuba and the completion of the Panama Canal in April 2016 which would allow container vessels of up to 13,000TEU through the canal, which is more than double the size of the ships that can now be accommodated.
Jean-Marie, who was elected as the successor to Grantley Stephenson, says he is delighted by the appointment, and emphasised his commitment to maintaining collaboration amongst regional ports. “It is a great honour to be elected as President of such a highly respected regional maritime association. I am committed to continuing to develop strategic partnerships between the region’s maritime ports, and to improving regional port operations,” he said.
Jean-Marie also highlighted that BPI is one of the fifteen members of the Port Management Association of the Caribbean (PMAC), another association encouraging collaboration among regional maritime ports. “BPI has a strong history of collaboration with our involvement in PMAC, as a major port authority in the Caribbean. As the incumbent CSA President, I intend to continue that core philosophy to strive to build a sustainable future for the maritime industry,” he explained.
The newly-elected President’s comments echo the sentiments of Immediate Past President; Stephenson, who demits office after serving three consecutive terms. Stephenson opened the CSA’s 45th Annual General Meeting by urging regional maritime businesses to collaborate to meet the shared regional challenges amongst ports.
The CSA’s agenda also featured presentations from industry experts on regional shipping issues, including the expansion of the Panama Canal, Cuba’s planned port development post U.S. embargo, and new container weight regulations and ships’ emissions. The central theme of the meeting was the need for increased collaboration and strategic partnerships between regional ports and terminals to provide more benefits and better opportunities for the region.
With almost 300 delegates in attendance, and maritime representatives from the Caribbean, Latin and North American, and Europe, the highlight of the annual three-day event (17th to 21st October) was most certainly the election of the new CSA President and Vice President for 2015-2016. Juan Carlos Croston, Vice President of Marketing at Panama's Manzanillo International Terminal, was elected as the CSA Vice President to David Jean-Marie.The CSA was established in 1971 to facilitate the development of an efficient, viable Caribbean shipping industry. Since then, the Association has become the voice of the region's shipping industry and a major regional forum in which matters relevant to the growth and development of Caribbean shipping are discussed. Conferences hosted by the CSA provide a forum in which matters relevant to the growth and development of Caribbean shipping are discussed. For more information,kindly visit the Caribbean Shipping Association website.