ICS elects Esben Poulsson as new chairman
Meeting in Tokyo today (2 June), the Annual General Meeting of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) elected a new Chairman, Mr Esben Poulsson (Singapore). ICS is the principal international trade association for shipowners, with a membership comprising national shipowners’ associations from 37 countries representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet, the association said in its press release.
Mr Poulsson has been elected to succeed Masamichi Morooka (Japan) who has decided to stand down after four years in office. Being at the helm of the industry’s most influential international trade association, Mr Poulsson will serve as a leading representative of the global shipping industry, overseeing its liaison with its regulators such as the International Maritime Organization and the International Labour Organization.
Speaking after his unanimous election today, Mr Poulsson said: “I am very honoured to have been elected by the ICS member national shipowner associations. Being Chairman is a big responsibility and my primary task will be to ensure that ICS continues to represent the considered views of the entire industry. This means reflecting and reconciling the opinions of different ship types and trades, different national viewpoints, and the interests of shipping companies big and small.”
Mr Poulsson continued:
“Within ICS there are two major challenges on which we really need to focus this year. The first is working with IMO Member States to make further progress addressing international shipping’s CO2 emissions, including our proposal that IMO should develop an ‘Intended IMO Determined Contribution’ for reducing the sector’s CO2, similar to the commitments already made by governments as part of the Paris Agreement. “But even more pressing from an industry perspective is making sure we are ready for the almost certain entry in force of the IMO Ballast Water Convention, and engaging with governments, especially the United States, to overcome some remaining but really serious implementation problems.
“More generally, ICS will continue to fight for the maintenance of global rules for our global industry, and continuous improvement with respect to our safety record and environmental performance. I especially want to build on ICS efforts to gain greater recognition of what the industry has already achieved and its critical role in the sustainable development of the world economy and the improvement of global living standards. ”
Mr Poulsson added:
“I was fortunate enough to lead the strategic review which ICS conducted last year and this made me very aware of the enormous scope of activity in which ICS is engaged. This ranges from representation on policy and operational matters, as well as maritime law and employment affairs, to the production of best practice guidance and technical publications that are relied upon by shipping companies and seafarers worldwide.
“In addition to liaising with governments, this also means maintaining good relations with a large number of international institutions that impact upon the interests of shipowners. As the new ICS Chairman, working with our Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe, I look forward to addressing these challenges.”
Mr Poulsson will be supported in his important new role by four ICS Vice Chairmen: Mr John C Lyras (Greece), Mrs Karin Orsel (Netherlands), Mr Mark Martecchini (Liberia) and Mr Gerardo Borromeo (Philippines).
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for shipowners and operators, concerned with all technical, legal employment affairs and policy issues that may affect international shipping. ICS membership comprises national shipowners' associations in Asia, Europe and the Americas whose member shipping companies operate over 80% of the world's merchant tonnage.
Esben Poulsson is Chairman of ENESEL PTE. LTD., a Singapore based commercial management and ship owning entity, managing 14 large modern container vessels all under the Singapore flag. Mr Poulsson has worked in the maritime industry for over 40 years. He spent 20 years with TORM A/S in a variety of senior management positions in Hong Kong, London, Copenhagen and, most recently, as President & CEO of TORM Singapore Pte. Ltd.
Aside from his Chairmanship of Enesel Pte. Ltd., he is a Non-Executive Director of X-Press Feeders Ltd., of First Ship Lease Trust and of Hafnia Tankers Pte. Ltd. He is non-executive Chairman of Cambiaso Risso Asia Pte. Ltd. and serves as Senior Advisor to Straits Tankers Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based Pool Management company, a joint venture between MOL, Tokyo and Hafnia Management A/S, Copenhagen.
He was elected President of the Singapore Shipping Association in June 2015, of which he has been a Council Member since 2007. He also serves on the Board of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and is an Advisory Panel Member of the Singapore Maritime Foundation. Prior to his appointment as Chairman of ICS, he served as Vice Chairman and represented Singapore on the Board.