Virtual High-Level Meeting - 7 to 14 October 2020

A new way forward: Rethinking global seaborne trade

Covid-19 has revealed the vulnerabilities of our societies and economies. At the same time, the pandemic has presented a rare opportunity for the public and private sector to work together to build back better.

In just a few months the Covid-19 pandemic has spread to all corners of the world and changed people’s daily lives. It has shifted the global economy to a lower gear, and has led governments to unleash unprecedented stimulus packages to help protect the livelihoods of citizens and the survival of companies. The pandemic has also unveiled or indeed exacerbated inequalities, leading to social unrest in some places.

Meanwhile, the drop in economic activity has led to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, which in many cities has made the blue sky visible for the first time in years. This clearly demonstrates that we can make headway on climate and environmental action if appropriate measures are taken.

The maritime industry has also been impacted by the pandemic. Trade and passenger volumes have dropped, global supply chains have been disrupted, and the critical situation related to crew changes has revealed glaring weaknesses in the system.

While we must continue to deal with the immediate human and economic impact of the pandemic, it is also an opportunity to lay the groundwork for a more resilient, sustainable, and fair global economy.

This will require a better understanding of the impact of the current crisis and what it reveals about underlying trends shaping our world in political, economic and societal terms. Which elements are merely ripples on the surface that will quickly disappear once the pandemic is brought under control? Which elements herald fundamental changes to the global economy and global societies to which we must adapt? And which elements present opportunities to collectively create a sustainable future for our industry and the world?

By bringing together top decision makers, thought leaders and experts from across the maritime spectrum and beyond, the Global Maritime Forum’s Virtual High-Level Meeting will be an opportunity to explore these key questions. We will do so by learning from experts, sharing experiences and jointly identifying the steps that will allow us to emerge from the storm and set the course towards building a cleaner, safer, and more resilient maritime industry that the world can rely on in the decades to come.

Convening decision makers to make real change
The Global Maritime Forum is founded on the principle that systems cannot be transformed by any one stakeholder or individual. With that in mind, the Virtual High-Level Meeting will convene top decision makers from all parts of the maritime spectrum together with regulators, policy makers, NGO representatives, intergovernmental institutions and academia from around the world, thus creating new opportunities for multi-stakeholder collaboration and problem-solving to tackle the most important challenges that the maritime sector is facing. The ambition is that discussions at the Virtual High-level Meeting will give birth to decisions that make a real difference.

One week of engaging and action-oriented discussions
The discussions that take place at Global Maritime Forum meetings have an important role to play in shaping the future of global seaborne trade.

The Virtual High-Level Meeting will be an engaging and interactive meeting, uniting the advantages of digital technologies, and the free-flowing exchange of ideas that characterize all Global Maritime Forum events.

Flexibility in the design enables participants in the Virtual High-Level Meeting to tailor their own journey based on their time commitment and interests. The Global Maritime Forum’s Virtual High-Level Meeting is by invitation only.


Global Maritime Forum Annual Summit postponed until 2021 – Virtual High-Level Meeting to take its place
In view of the continuing uncertainty concerning the COVID-19 public health crisis with restrictions on travel and public gatherings, and our commitment to the wellbeing of the maritime community, the Annual Summit that was originally set to take place on 13-14 October in London will be postponed until 2021. In place of an in-person Summit this year, the Global Maritime Forum will organize an interactive Virtual High-Level Meeting to bring together its community of decision-makers from around the world. See full press release.