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CSA President at SATT

CSA President outlines strategies for strengthening national shipping associations

The President of the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA), Grantley Stephenson, has outlined strategies for strengthening the CSA by empowering national shipping associations.

Addressing the 75th Anniversary of the Shipping Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT) in Port of Spain on 20th March, the recently elected CSA President reaffirmed that national shipping associations across the region were the bedrock of the regional body and that one of his priorities would be to help strengthen them and give them a higher profile in the CSA.

Priority number one will be to build a strong, active and meaningful partnership between the national shipping associations and the CSA. Acknowledging that the relationship between the regional body and the national associations was always close, Mr. Stephenson said it would be his administration’s task to take the relationship to a higher level. In this regard, he disclosed that provision was being made at the upcoming Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference in The Bahamas for national associations to meet to discuss growth, expansion and cooperation with other associations.

Stronger partnerships

“The bonds between the SATT and the CSA are currently strong … have always been … I know this,” he said. “However, I am talking about building even stronger partnerships.”

Mr. Stephenson said it was his intention to give the leaders of national associations a higher profile at CSA conferences. This, he said, was important in order to send a clear signal about the importance that CSA attached to these local organisations.

“National shipping associations have to assume a higher profile in the work and programmes of the CSA,” he said. “Towards this end, the leadership of national associations should be more visible at CSA conferences.”

National shipping associations will also play a greater role in the selection of topics and presenters for CSA conferences and collectively will play a vital role in assisting the CSA to help each association to develop its country’s maritime services to a high standard of efficiency.

“Topics discussed at CSA regional conferences in May and October will increasingly reflect the current needs and specific interests of national [shipping] associations,” said Mr. Stephenson. “Of course, we have always taken into consideration the needs of national associations among other groups in the selection of topics for presentation at conferences. However, I am placing greater emphasis on the contribution of national associations to topics selection and in the nomination of presenters.

Recommendations

“At the same time, I will be encouraging national associations to present their needs to General Council and to make recommendations as to how the CSA can play a more dynamic role in assisting each territory to develop their maritime services to a high standard of efficiency.”

Mr. Stephenson reminded SATT members that the CSA could help them to make a positive contribution to their country’s development through training and exposure to best practices; and through dialogue and networking. In this regard, he said he would be encouraging all shipping associations to be more active in the CSA so as to be a force for development of their local maritime sector.

The CSA President said each member of a national association should be encouraged to attend CSA conferences; to have the CSA experience; to receive the presentations; and to hear the comments, suggestions and arguments from the floor.