The Cayman Islands chapter of the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association will be hosting the 2019 WISTA International annual general meeting and conference from 29 Oct. to 1 Nov.
WISTA International serves as a network of more than 3,000 female professionals from all sectors of the maritime industry.
Cayman is hosting the event for the first time.
According to a press release, the organisation’s meeting will bring together more than 200 maritime experts from 30 countries. They will discuss global shipping market trends and share ideas about issues such as sustainable oceans, clean and green technologies and the reduced sulphur emissions in shipping mandated by the International Maritime Organisation and its IMO 2020 regulations.
The conference theme ‘Founded Upon the Seas’ is a nod to Cayman’s coat of arms and the islands’ seafaring and shipbuilding heritage.
WISTA Cayman Islands President Sherice Arman said that it is only fitting that Cayman has been given the opportunity to stage the event as the islands’ profile in the industry continues to increase globally.
“WISTA Cayman Islands is thrilled to have the opportunity to host WISTA International’s AGM and conference. Our islands boast a strong seafaring tradition,” she said. “For generations, Caymanians were known as first-class ship builders and master mariners, with many employed as captains, navigators and crew for the world’s largest shipping companies. Fast forward to today where our maritime industry is still flourishing, and the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry continues to lead the industry in several key areas of the sector.”
Arman noted that the Cayman flag is rated as one of the highest quality flags in the world and Cayman’s shipping registry is frequently recognised by international regulatory bodies for its technical excellence and its leadership in regulatory and advisory services.
“We are looking forward to this opportunity to network with our peers, engage with global decision makers, share our experiences and ideas and seek out new business synergies that will not only benefit Cayman’s maritime industry but also empower women in the maritime community around the world,” Arman added.
Premier Alden McLaughlin is quoted in the release as saying women in the Cayman Islands had a long history with the maritime industry. “In fact, as far back as the early 1900s the Hydes sisters from West Bay and the Merren sisters from George Town were registered vessel owners.” When the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands was established in 2006, its first chairman of the Board was Sharon Roulstone, he noted.
“Today, it is women who hold the majority of mid-management and above roles in our Maritime Authority and at a recent vessel registration training workshop hosted by MACI, 69% of the attendees were female, representing a variety of local maritime sector services providers and government agencies. I’m delighted that WISTA International has chosen the Cayman Islands as the location for their AGM and conference and I trust the attendees will enjoy our warm hospitality and the beauty of our islands,” McLaughlin said.
In addition to environmental challenges in shipping, other topics that will be addressed during the various workshops and technical seminars include business negotiation in a global world, empowering women in the maritime community, technology, autonomous ships and cybersecurity.