European Maritime Day Focuses on Investments in Blue Economy
Every year the international conference and exhibition that celebrate European Maritime Day offer maritime stakeholders a dynamic platform for dialogue and exchange. The outcomes of the event also help shape the European Commission’s vision for maritime policy for the years ahead.
This year’s conference, hosted in Turku, Finland, last week was entitled “Investing in smart and sustainable solutions for competitive Blue Growth” and focuses on unlocking investment in the blue economy.
“Throughout the world, more and more opportunities for blue growth and jobs are being identified,” said Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. “The EU is in the lead on several blue economy technologies, such as renewable energy and clean shipping. We are leading because we have invested. Our commitment to sustainability is what gives us our competitive edge and what will open up new global business opportunities for our industry”.
“Our goal is to make Finland a forerunner in the bioeconomy, circular economy, and cleantech by 2025,” said Prime Minister of Finland Juha Sipilä. “Sustainable solutions speed up export and employment. With better regulation we can increase investments that will help boost economic growth.”
Finland is currently preparing a national development plan for the blue bioeconomy to capitalize on the growth potential of the sector.
In Turku, over 1000 participants chose among 21 workshops, five thematic sessions—such as investing in blue growth, improving ocean governance, and harnessing clean energy—and two leadership exchange panels. The two-day event was organized by the European Commission in cooperation with the City of Turku and the Finnish Government.
The role that ports play in the maritime economy was a recurring theme this year. A photo competition organized by the European Commission through social networks, called #MyPortForTurku, attracted almost 600 pictures from 166 ports in 24 countries. Fifty works, chosen by an independent jury for their distinction, were exhibited. They will then go through several other European cities as a traveling exhibition of the diversity and value of European ports.