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International seminar on the future of shipping during Frihamnsdagarna in Gothenburg

16 August 2023

What does the green transition mean for shipping? What are the challenges and opportunities? Can we find new business models? How do we get all the world's countries on board? On August 31, the issues will be discussed under the leadership of, among others, Åsa Burman from Lighthouse at an all-day seminar organized by the Embassy of the Netherlands.

The origin of the initiative for a maritime seminar was the state visit of the Dutch royal couple in October 2022, says Hanna Peterson at the Embassy of the Netherlands.

“Then, among other things, an agreement was signed to establish a green corridor between the ports of Gothenburg and Rotterdam, and as an embassy, we would like to enable a further conversation between our countries. We have a lot in common – similar climate goals, strong innovation and we can learn and be inspired by each other”, she says.

“The ambassador also had a conversation with Dan Sten Olsson from Stena about the green transformation of shipping. Shipping companies want to change, but it becomes a puzzle because it requires increased investment and costs for so many other different actors and you have to have everyone on board for it to work.”

How to find business models for this? Are government investments required? According to Hanna Peterson, there is hardly a more suitable place to discuss such issues than at a democratic festival like Frihamnsdagarna - not least because the public gets the opportunity to take part in the discussion.

- Firstly, we want to create a forum where you can have a conversation between the different shipping industries. It is about everything from shipping companies to transport buyers and fuel producers. Secondly, it is also important to have a social debate. In the end, it is the consumer who pays for the increased costs.

Do you want to have discussions like this with other industries as well?

- We focus on the areas where the Netherlands and Sweden overlap and have similar investments. The climate is definitely a main topic, but we are a relatively small embassy and this year we want to focus on shipping. It is also connected with Gothenburg's 400th anniversary. We received an invitation from the city to join and contribute to the celebration and since shipping is so important to Gothenburg, this was an appropriate topic. We'll see how it goes. We have our own stage all day with seating for 100 people and also plenty of standing room. We hope to reach out to both the general public and the industry. In terms of time, it is in connection to Donsö Shipping Meet. Hopefully there will be a follow-up next year.

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