After a four-year break from live exhibitions, the maritime community is meeting in Hamburg again from 6 to 9 September 2022. The opening press conference for the flagship fair gave a foretaste of the next four SMM days. Supply chain disruption, alternative propulsion technologies, e-fuels – political and business leaders discussed current challenges facing the shipping industry. Their conclusion: Shipbuilding companies and suppliers are ready for the Maritime Transition – and SMM is about to provide valuable input on how to accomplish it.

Featuring high-profile speakers, today’s SMM press conference marked the kick-off for four intriguing days as the maritime industry meets in Hamburg to share thoughts and knowledge and to network. Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO, Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, was delighted to note that the entire exhibition campus is occupied, and face-to-face interaction is finally possible again. “It fills me with pride that we have been able to win so many top-level representatives of enterprises and institutions and so many accomplished experts for this event, both on the exhibitors’ side and for the accompanying conferences.”

The Hamburg Messe CEO had invited top-flight guests to discuss the core theme of this SMM, the Maritime Transition:

• Claudia Müller, the German Federal Maritime Coordinator
• Dr Uwe Lauber, CEO, MAN Energy Solutions
• Lars Robert Pedersen, Deputy Secretary General, BIMCO
• Steve Gordon, Managing Director, Clarksons Research
• Wolfram Guntermann, Director Regulatory Affairs, Hapag-Lloyd AG

Resilient – and hesitant
Closed-off ports, overstretched supply chains, crew change challenges – Covid-19 kept a tight grip on the world over the past two years. Moderator David Patrician asked Steve Gordon, Managing Director at Clarksons Research, whether Covid had caused the Green Agenda to slip out of the the shipping industry’s focus. “The topic has actually become more prominent,” was Gordon’s reply. He added he was surprised how well the shipping industry had managed the crisis: “The shipping market remained remarkably resilient during Covid.” A look at the global orderbooks reveals that shipyards are fully booked for the next two to three years, he continued. “The share of new orders for ships with alternative propulsion systems is above 40 per cent,” including many newbuilds designed to operate on LNG, he said. While methanol is a big topic, Gordon pointed out, shipowners by and large are still rather hesitant when it comes to e-fuels. “We are just at the start of a huge fuel transition, with a fleet renewal programme that will require massive investment, technology change and innovation,” Gordon said. What is missing, he added, is not money, since “the shipping industry earned well during the pandemic,” but rather the regulatory framework.

No time, no resources
Which alternative fuel should shipowners opt for? So far there is no clear answer. All the International Shipping Organization IMO has provided is the zero-emission target for the year 2100. But the industry itself has higher ambitions. Nevertheless Dr Uwe Lauber doesn’t believe even those ambitions will do. The CEO of MAN Energy Solutions said the maritime transition is technically possible today. “The good news is: Regulatory framework provided, shipping can be green and not emit any more CO2 after 2045.  However this might still not be fast enough to stay in line with the Paris agreement. Industry growth alone will lead to a massive emissions overshoot on our way to 2045, if we do not act now.” That the technology is indeed available can be seen at the MAN ES stand at SMM in Hall A3 where the company showcases an engine capable of running on both, methanol and conventional fuels. For 2024 MAN has announced its first engine designed to run on ammonia.

But what good is all this technology to shipowners if there isn’t enough fuel, asked Lars Robert Pedersen. According to the Vice Secretary General of BIMCO, the lack of sufficient energy resources is a massive problem. “Availability of sustainable energy for the transition is both the question and the answer to decarbonisation of shipping – and all other sectors of society as well. The scale is monumental. While sustainable energy is being scaled up, shipping should not wait but pursue all avenues to improve the efficiency of the fleet,“ Pedersen pointed out, referring to the energy crisis aggravated by the Ukraine war.

Accepting the responsibility
Claudia Müller, the German Federal Maritime Coordinator, promised government support to the maritime sector. “It is Germany’s current top priority to give the industry a sound basis for planning the necessary investments and boost the production of low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels and technologies.” She mentioned the strong increase of global efforts to ramp up the production of renewable energy. There are plans for large solar farms in northern Africa and on the Arab Pensinsula, major offshore and onshore wind power projects in Chile, and Australia is joining the trend with ambitious projects, as well. While international shipping is unlikely to be able to operate without e-fuels, the range of options is wider for short-distance traffic where fuel cells and fully electric propulsion are feasible options. “For shipping and beyond, the question we have to keep asking ourselves is this: Which energy source is best-suited and most efficient for specific applications?”, Müller asked.

But when looking to the future, she said, it is important not to forget the fleet in operation, since ships have a service life of up to 25 years. One of the key opportunities is efficiency enhancements: “There is still room for improvements in shipping,” Müller emphasised.

Hapag-Lloyd is a shipping company that takes specific action today to enhance the environmental performance of its fleet. “Retrofitting programmes are key to this,” said Wolfram Guntermann, Director Regulatory Affairs at Hapag-Lloyd AG. At the world’s fifth-largest container shipping company this means retrofitting highly efficient propellers from the German manufacturer MMG (Mecklenburger Metallguss GmbH). “These propellers will lower both, energy consumption and CO2 emissions by ten to 13per cent,” Guntermann explained. Hapag-Lloyd is investing an amount in the triple-digit million euro range. The company wants to reduce the carbon intensity of its own ships by 30per cent.

This example demonstrates that the shipping industry is on the right path despite many open questions about future fuels. Bernd Aufderheide was confident that SMM will deliver the right impetus for the maritime energy transition: “I am sure that after these four tightly packed days visitors and exhibitors alike will take home plenty of important insights – and return to SMM in 2024.”

SMM was officially opened by its honorary patron, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in a video message. Scholz underlined the importance of the maritime sector saying: “’That ship has sailed’ (is a phrase) we often use to mark a lost opportunity. But for you as participants at SMM, every ship that leaves port and sets sail is an opportunity. And you have come exactly to the right place to discuss these opportunities,” said Scholz. He also pointed to the important role of shipping in transporting alternative fuels such as methanol and hydrogen. All these topics are highlighted at SMM.

Source: Hamburg Messe


CREWEXPRESS STCW REST HOURS SOFTWARE - Paris and Tokyo MoU have announced that they will jointly launch a new Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) from 1st September 2022 to 30th November 2022


Ships built before 2020 are likely to remain in the fleet until around 2045, and new low-or zero-carbon fuels are unlikely to be available at scale for some time yet, therefeore the efficiency of these existing vessels will need to be upgraded. This was one of the conclusions agreed by panellists at at Marintec Innovation webinar yesterday titled ‘Defining the Path to Decarbonisation’.

They included shipping economist, Dr Martin Stopford, who gave the keynote address. The session was moderated by Dr Wang Jinbao, Deputy Director of International Exchange Committee of Shanghai Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. Other presenters included Carnival’s Senior Vice President, Maritime Affairs, Tom Strang; Professor Wang Zhaolin of Xiamen University; Christian Berg, Director, Bunkering Market Development at Yara Clean Ammonia; and Chris Chung, Director, Regional Sales and Ecosystem Development at Wärtsilä Voyage.

Stopford set out some of the challenges. He said that world population and GDP growth between now and the middle of the century – increases of about a quarter and nearly double respectively – means that there is no time to waste in making carbon efficiency gains. And the technologies are available to do so, he said, with some new ships incorporating a range of carbon-reducing features.

However, he said that existing vessels are likely to generate about half of shipping’s total emissions between 2020 and 2050. Retrofitting of carbon-reducing technologies will therefore be essential and IMO’s EEXI and CII regulations, due to enter force in January, will accelerate this process.

Yara’s Berg said that he expected a spot market to develop in some alternative fuels but that many ship operators would strive to cover additional costs by entering into medium- and long-term arrangements with their customers. Meanwhile, he said that a carbon price of $250 per tonne would make new fuels such as blue ammonia competitive.

Yara is focusing attention on ammonia as a potential fuel in both the offshore and coastal bulk carrier sectors, Berg said. The company expects to have clean ammonia available as fuel from a new bunker barge approved by DNV in 2024, and to have 2.5m tonnes per annum available as marine fuel by the end of the decade. Short-sea vessels would start to use the fuel from 2024/25, but would not switch to 100% ammonia from day one.

Professor Wang, also an expert on ammonia, stressed the need for a step-by-step approach to new fuels. Blending, he said, offered a safer option so that the impact of new fuels could be carefully assessed. If ammonia is adopted as a fuel, there could be no unburnt fuel present in the exhaust gas so complete combustion would be essential.

He suggested that a 20% ammonia blend could steadily be increased, perhaps to align with tightening CII requirements over the second half of the decade. He suggested that performance of fuels ultimately intended for deep-sea ships should initially be tested on short-sea vessels, which are easier to monitor and make interventions if necessary. Tests at sea could be matched by trials in other transport modes, he suggested, such as heavy construction plant ashore, to mitigate risk.

Carnival’s Strang described the decarbonisation journey faced by cruise operators as “massively exciting and massively challenging”. On imminent IMO regulations, he said that CII does not work for cruise operators for various reasons, including very high hotel loads and a disproportionat amount of time spent in port. To sail more slowly would either extend the length of cruise holidays or reduce the time for port calls and shore excursions. The implication was that neither would be popular with customers.

However, he said that Carnival’s goal is to make significant carbon emission reductions across its fleet and a wide range of tests and trials are currently in progress. The world’s largest cruise line, which joined the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping earlier this year, is testing a 10MW battery installation on one vessel, and now has more than 40% of its ships equipped to use shore power in port (with a target of 60%). A range of other trials are under way, he said.

Wärtsilä Voyage’s Chung emphasised the importance of the ‘connected ship’ and particularly the smart ship/smart port connection. Digital technology was a key enabler for an entirely new level of monitoring so that personnel both at sea and ashore could be supported in optimising voyage planning on a dynamic basis, and adopting new digital technologies such as just-in-time arrivals for maximum fuel economy.

He mentioned the company’s involvement with various ports and revealed details of one project in the Port of Rotterdam. A fully autonomous vessel is under development to transfer containers from one part of the port to another. The result will be improved efficiency and a significant reduction in shoreside vehicle emissions.

Stopford emphasised that the process will take time and stressed the importance of information management and exchange, as well as accurate data. Shipping companies have had access to huge amounts of data in the past, he said, but no means of processing it. Now, those systems are available.

A priority will be managing the human element, the panellists agreed, making sure that people both at sea and ashore have the necessary digital skills to make the most of potential efficiency gains. “This new era will need much more people management,” Stopford declared.

CREWEXPRESS STCW REST HOURS SOFTWARE - Paris and Tokyo MoU have announced that they will jointly launch a new Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) from 1st September 2022 to 30th November 2022

Dammam, Saudi Arabia – The 3rd edition of Saudi Maritime Congress, the Kingdom’s most influential maritime and logistics event has received support from industry stakeholders that have significantly contributed to the growth of the maritime sector in the MENA region.

Supported by major maritime authorities in the Kingdom such as Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI) and the Transport General Authority, the event will connect the industry across the region by bringing together ship owners, suppliers, and key decision-makers.

Scheduled to take place in Dammam between the 28th and 29th of September, 2022, the much-awaited exhibition and conference will witness the participation of some of the leading maritime policy influencers across the Kingdom and the globe such as MAWANI, Transport General Authority, International Chamber of Shipping and Intermanager. In addition, key port operators and trade enablers such as Saudi Global Ports Co., DP World, and Red Sea Gateway Terminal will show their support through attendance and contribution. Nonetheless, members of the classification societies such as DNV; maritime insurance providers such as TT Club; ship builders and managers such as Med Marine and Columbia Shipmanagement; and technology enablers such as Inmarsat.

Ian Edwards, Area Manager, Middle East and Africa, DNV Maritime said, “We are very pleased to be associated with one of the most influential maritime events of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We look forward to the opportunity to meet with our customers as well as thought-leaders and experts to discuss upcoming transformations in the maritime industry – both locally and internationally. The Congress’s programme is a great opportunity to connect with the industry’s best and share experiences and know-how. Through our participation in the Saudi Maritime Congress 2022, we aim to build effective collaborations with all the maritime industry’s stakeholders – governmental officials, partners, and potential customers – to ensure sustainable growth for both our organisation and the local shipping market”.

As one of the leading events in the maritime sector, Saudi Maritime Congress 2022 aims to focus discussions around the transformation within the industry, not only in the region, but globally. In recent years, the sector witnessed several scenarios that led decision makers and legal firms to propose amendments to existing laws and regulations.

Khurram Ali, Partner, Middle East, Ince said, “For legal firms such as ourselves, our involvement was more towards shaping policies and regulations that could support these efforts and catalyse recovery and growth. Our participation in the Saudi Maritime Congress will help us understand more about the challenges the industry stakeholders are facing, and will help us evaluate our existing regulations and draft new policies, keeping in mind the best practices in terms of maritime safety and operations. Therefore, we support the hosting of such events that allow us to connect with the industry and solve the root cause of the issues facing the sector. The panel discussions that will be held during the event will be an ideal platform for us to discuss these issues and hear from organisations working in the sector regarding the factors that are hindering their progress.”

Saudi Arabia is currently on a drive to becoming one of the most technologically advanced, and sustainable nations across the globe. Similar to its focus since the past two editions, the 2022 edition of the Saudi Maritime Congress will also aim at facilitating the industry’s contribution towards helping the Kingdom achieve its national goals.

Chris Morley, Group Director – Maritime Events, Informa Markets said, “The maritime sector across the globe has witnessed several unprecedented challenges, many catalysed or exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet, the industry showed a lot of resilience and, in some sectors,  continued to show growth. We’re excited to be bringing together leading authorities, policy influencers, private & public fleet owners and operators to play our part in stimulating and supporting innovative discussion and progress. Through thought leadership and unparalleled networking opportunities, SMC 2022 will enable various maritime organisations to collaborate on major projects and drive the progress of the sector. We are truly honored to receive the support of some of the most well known organisations in the sector, and are looking forward to witnessing the change effected by this important group of stakeholders.”



CREWEXPRESS STCW REST HOURS SOFTWARE - Paris and Tokyo MoU have announced that they will jointly launch a new Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) from 1st September 2022 to 30th November 2022

Helm Operations’ annual user conference returns this September, offering customers the opportunity to meet with industry experts and discover the full potential of Helm’s innovative fleet management software solutions.

From September 22-23, Helm CONNECT users from all over the world will gather in Victoria, BC, Canada for Helm Conference 2022. For two full days, Helm Operations will celebrate the success of its customer community together with thought leaders, industry pioneers, peers, and technology experts at a high-energy event that will focus on training, information exchange and networking.

Taking place at the Inn at Laurel Point, the conference is a long overdue face-to-face for the company’s users, customers, partners, and friends. Helm’s success is based on developing new approaches which help customers optimize their operations and efficiently manage fleet-wide logistics. Helm Conference provides the opportunity for customers to share their experiences and find out more about Helm’s industry leading fleet management system and how it can be applied to their businesses. Attendees can expect to hear from a variety of industry leaders, including David Houghton, CIO of Ingram Marine. Other companies speaking include Bergan Marine, ShipTracks, Tiller Technical and more.

Throughout the conference, Helm and its partners will be offering advanced training for Helm CONNECT, including the introduction of new modules, features, and workflows to increase efficiency. Users will be invited to exchange best practice, to train with experts on how to best use Helm CONNECT and achieve advanced user certifications; and to learn from industry leaders, keynote speakers and other Helm users – all with the view to driving their businesses toward operational excellence.

“This year we’re excited to welcome one of largest and most international groups of attendees to our hometown of Victoria to train with our experts, learn from fellow users and gain skills to help lead their companies”, says Nolan Barclay, CEO of Helm Operations. “We will be announcing new products, providing early access to new features and modules, and launching exclusive integrations with our platform partners including Moxie Media, Bergen Systems, ShipTracks. Our attendees have told us time and time again that Helm Conference is their favourite event, and our goal is to continue that legacy.”
Source: Helm Operations

In his previous statement Russian President has said it was about the export of 5-6 million tonnes of wheat and 7 million tonnes of corn from Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the sidelines of the Summit of the heads of states of the “Astana Troika”, the Kremlin website reported.

“I want to thank you for your mediation efforts, for providing a Turkish platform for negotiations on food issues, on the problems of grain exports through the Black Sea. With your mediation, we have moved forward. Not all issues, however, have yet been resolved, but the fact that there is a movement is good itself,” the Kremlin press office quoted Vladimir Putin as saying.

Vladimir Putin speaking at the SPIEF 2022 in June, stated that Russia does not interfere with the export of grain from Ukraine and is ready to ensure the safe passage of merchant ships from the respective ports, provided that they would be cleared of navy mines by the Ukrainian side. At the same time, there is a possibility that the payment for this grain will be used for the purchase of weapons by the Ukrainian side, Russian President said.


The 3rd edition of Saudi Maritime Congress, one of the Kingdom’s most influential gatherings of professionals from the maritime and logistics industry is set to make a comeback. The event is scheduled to take place in Dammam on 28 – 29 September 2022.

Seatrade Maritime | Jul 18, 2022

The much-awaited exhibition and conference has garnered great support from major regional and global companies such as Saudi Global Ports Co., DP World, ATCO, Al Tamimi & Co, Red Sea Gateway Terminal, Ince, Columbia Shipmanagement and Inmarsat, among others.

Enriching Saudi’s economy

Saudi Arabia is currently experiencing a boom in the maritime sector due to several mega infrastructural, land and sea projects in progress. The Kingdom intends to issue 12 bids for investment in the development of its ports during 2022 as part of privatisation plans in its maritime industry. In view of these developments, Saudi Maritime Congress will further amplify the success of the sector.

Chris Morley, Group Director – Maritime Events, Informa Markets said, “Owing to the significance of the event in transferring experiences and demonstrating investment opportunities, Saudi Maritime Congress is of strategic importance to the Kingdom and the GCC. We aim to heavily complement the Kingdom’s pioneering model and the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030.”

Morley added, “In the 2019 edition, in just its second occurrence, we witnessed the presence of nearly 1,000 maritime influencers. This year, we are looking at a drastic increase in the number of attendees as the event is makes its long-overdue comeback after the pandemic. With 30 per cent of the event’s attendees being C-suite leaders and 49 per cent working at the managerial level, Saudi Maritime Congress is a great platform to network with high-level professionals. Additionally, with over 30 countries represented, businesses and professionals can explore multiple opportunities to reach new and potential customers from across the globe. Our ultimate aim is to facilitate fruitful cooperation between the public and private sector entities that are working tirelessly to ensure the progress of the sector.”

As a knowledge-sharing platform, the Congress will also provide key insights on the rapidly progressing shipping and logistics sectors that are key economic pillars, paving the way for economic diversification in the Kingdom. Additionally, the two-day event will offer a platform for insightful discussions among regional and international stakeholders and decision-makers. Some of the key subjects that will be highlighted will be maritime infrastructure and investments, sustainability regulations, offshore developments, FDI opportunities in the Kingdom, and automation and smart technologies.

he widely respected veteran association, which now represents more than 80% of the world fleet, deferred the celebration from last year as a result of the pandemic.

Chairman Esben Poulsson, who this week completes an outstandingly successful term as chairman, drew historical parallels in his speech to guests between the challenges which the organisation was set up to address and those which confront it today.

Under its original name, the International Shipping Conference, the organisation held its first meeting at the Hotel Victoria in London in 1921.  In the spirit of international cooperation which prevailed following the establishment of the League of Nations two years earlier, 14 national shipowner associations agreed to work together to respond to the international regulatory regime then emerging, and to promote the principle of freedom of the seas. The achievement of consultative status at the IMO in 1961 was the starting point for ICS’s role representing global shipping’s views at IMO meetings.

The organisation now includes 34 national associations, but its core purpose remains the same.  These days the key issues include decarbonisation, the theme of its one-day conference this week, and the industry response to digital technologies.

But a sharp focus at the dinner was on seafarer welfare, a subject on which the ICS has been outspoken throughout the pandemic.  There is little doubt that it will continue to be a big preoccupation under its new Chairman, Emanuele Grimaldi, supported by Secretary General Guy Platten.

Marine Marketers of America (MMA), an organisation for marketing professionals in the recreational marine industry, announced the election of new officers and the appointment of new board members.

Courtney Chalmers, vice president of marketing for Boats Group, will continue her role as president of the association. Abbey Heimensen, vice president of marketing for MarineMax, has been elected as MMA’s vice president.

New board members serving three-year terms include:

·         Brian Chandler, APR, founder & CEO of Commonwealth Public Relations

·         Shelby Kirby, vice president of marketing at Brunswick Boat Group

·         Dana Koman, marketing manager of TACO Marine

·         Stephanie Vatalaro, senior vice president of marketing and communications for the recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation.

“It is an honour to bring on new officers and board members to MMA this year,” Chalmers says. “It is a sign of our growth and continued dedication to the unique needs of our industry that allows us to chart the course ahead. This new team will continue to bring our organisation into the future.”

Chandler brings more than a decade of experience serving clients in the marine industry. For the last two years, Chandler has served as a judge for MMA’s Neptune Awards.

Kirby is a distinguished leader in marketing strategy within the marine industry. She has been honoured multiple times for her forward-thinking mentality when it comes to her work.

Koman has been recognised as part of the 40 under 40 marine industry leaders by Boating Industry in 2020.

Vatalaro brings her professional experience, as well as her passion for sharing the excitement of boating and fishing to the board. She brings her experience in spreading the word on boating safety to the board and the association.

Chalmers says: “I am excited to work alongside a talented and highly esteemed group of industry leaders. It is wonderful to welcome so many key players and to continue serving alongside some of the talented men and women I have served with last year as well.”

The wilderness years of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad), after its initial inception during the 2004 Asian tsunami, are over. The latest summit in Tokyo reaffirmed its mission as a ‘force for good’ while promising a broad array of Indo-Pacific cyber security, maritime awareness, pandemic recovery, space, climate change and infrastructure initiatives.
At the recent IISS Shangri-La Dialogue held in Singapore, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin emphasised the importance of the Quad in promoting a ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’ and the need to cooperate with ASEAN to achieve these goals. But the group will need to consider the region’s needs to get support for its vision.
Meeting for their fourth leaders’ summit in just over a year, the Quad appears to have finally turned a corner with more coherent and cohesive language directed at upholding the so-called rules-based order. Comp-ared with previous joint statements, the May 2022 Tokyo summit was replete with China-directed ‘code’ — the settlement of dispu-tes without the threat of use of force, no ‘unilateral att-empt to change the status q-uo’ and a regional order fr-ee from all forms of coerc-ion. Quad members also a-dvocated the ‘Free and Op-en’ Indo-Pacific (FOIP) str-ategy.
The Quad’s forward momentum is driven in part by China’s continued assertiveness. Having rejected the 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling on the South China Sea, China has upped the pace of its military modernisation and continued its terraforming enterprise in the South China Sea. China has also deployed the same aggressive tactics along the Line of Actual Control — the boundary separating Chin-ese-controlled territory from Indian-controlled territory in the Chine-se–Indian border dispute.
There is now premature talk of an ‘Asian NATO’ w-hich threatens China as evidenced by China’s questio-ning about the Quad and A-UKUS at the recent Shan-gri-La Dialogue. Within the region, the idea is dead-on-arrival based on the failure of SEATO, a defunct international organisation for collective defence in South-east Asia signed in 1954.
In a public show that China is seeking to break Washington’s containment strategy, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently completed a ten-nation tour of the Pacific. His tour included the Solomon Isla-nds, where China has repo-rtedly signed a security co-operation pact enabling se-curity personnel and PLA Navy ships to visit the island.
If the United States and its Quad partners play their cards right, there are several ways to secure a regional order framed by Quad principles. Although many states are wary of formally joining any Quad-related framework that smacks of anti-China sentiment, they can ‘plug and play’ into initiatives that tangibly benefit their national interests. An open ‘plug and play’ approach to Quad-related activities may promote regional acceptance of the organisation’s principles.
The Quad should invol-ve itself in the provision of public goods like climate cooperation and COVID-19 vaccines — both of which have earned it brownie points in Southeast Asia. ASEAN had initial misgivings about the Quad, but the tangible benefits of pandemic and environmental assistance may be moving the needle. ASEAN gave an unprecedented nod to the Quad by acknowledging the Quad Vaccine Partner-ship in its US–ASEAN Joint Vision Statement.
The Quad should do more to boost the maritime security capabilities of Southeast Asian states by providing more coast guard ships to those challenged by Chinese maritime entities. Coast guards are less threatening than navy ships in the disputed South China Sea. The United States has already provided Vietnam with two coast guard cutters, while also promising ASEAN US$60 million to expand maritime security cooperation with the US Coast Guard.
Enter the Indo-Pacific Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) initiative announced on 24 May 2022.
The satellite-based initiative will help Indo-Pacific countries track illegal fishing and maritime militias by giving them readily available maritime information across the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands. Information is power for regional states dealing with altercations with Chinese fishing trawlers and maritime militia in the South China Sea.
The Quad should also work with like-minded regional navies to keep sea lanes of communication open. While some regional navies are reticent to work with the Quad for fear of riling China, they are more open to doing so if it enhances their national interests. A two-week joint exercise between the armed forces of Indonesia and the United States, called Garuda Shield, is a good example of this.
In August 2022, Indonesia and United States will hold military exercises near the Natuna Islands, where Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone overlaps with China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. Quad members Australia and Japan, as well as Malaysia, Singapore and the United Kingdom, are also reported to be participating in the exercises.
The bottom line is that no country would be willing to be corralled into a formal network under the FOIP and Quad banner for fear of riling China unnecessarily. But many regional countries are willing to support shared principles — such as freedom of navigation, not resorting to the threat or use of force and the rule of law — if the erosion of these principles affects their survival.
Instead of working outside of the regional institutional framework, success for the Quad lies in securing ASEAN’s cooperation first and foremost, after which other Asian partners will follow.
To gain traction, the Quad should invert former US president John F Kennedy’s famous aphorism — ask not what regional countries can do for the Quad, ask what the Quad can do for regional countries.


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