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FSS chief highlights maritime finance’s paradigm shift toward ESG standards

Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) Governor Lee Bok-hyun accentuated the significance of maritime finance and its need to be transformed into a customized comprehensive financial service that meets global environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) standards.

The comment came during a congratulatory speech delivered at the opening ceremony of this year’s three-day-long Busan Maritime & Finance Week (BMFW) that kicked off on Tuesday.

“The marine industry is facing a paradigm shift under which the industry is called to upgrade itself through enlargement, digitalization and eco-friendliness,” Lee said during the opening ceremony of the BMFW held at Paradise Hotel Busan in the southeastern city on Tuesday.

“Aiming to achieve fundamental changes, it is the time for maritime finance, which must support the marine industry’s successful transformation, to move away from providing temporary liquidity support through simple lending and borrowing and head towards becoming a tailored comprehensive financial service by maintaining close ties with industry, while meeting global ESG criteria,” Lee highlighted.

This year’s is the third installment of the BMFW held since 2021, when it integrated several marine finance-related events that have been held separately by different organizations, including the FSS, Korea Ocean Business Corporation (KOBC), Marine Money, the Busan Finance Center and Busan Metropolitan City.

Besides the FSS governor and Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon, about 250 participants attended Tuesday’s opening ceremony, including key officials from financial, shipbuilding and shipping companies, as well as universities and research institutes.

“In Korea, where 99 percent of the total trade is conducted through maritime transportation, the importance of the marine industry, such as shipbuilding and shipping, cannot be overemphasized. Busan is not only a global logistics hub connecting the continent and the ocean, but also the center of maritime finance, serving as an important bridgehead to maintain the country’s maritime competitiveness,” the FSS governor said during his speech.

During the BMFW, three key programs ― Busan Financial Hub Convention on International Maritime Finance on Tuesday, the 2023 KOBC Maritime Conference on Wednesday and Marine Money 2023 Korea Ship Finance Forum on Thursday ― will be held at Paradise Hotel Busan.

The annual maritime event aims to bolster the city’s external branding as a maritime finance city. Through providing a platform of linkage and networking, local and foreign global leaders in finance, maritime and shipping share knowledge on the current status and prospects of the maritime and financial industries.

Specifically, the Busan Financial Hub Convention on International Maritime Finance was jointly organized by the FSS and Busan, delving into the latest trends in the marine finance sector as well as development strategies of Busan, home to Korea’s marine finance activities.\
At Wednesday’s 2023 KOBC Maritime Conference, trends and forecasts will be shared about general overall ship financing, as well as the dry bulk carrier and container ship markets.

On the last day at the Marine Money’s Korea Ship Finance Forum, discussions will be held on the challenges of decarbonization in the shipping industry, followed by another session on ship financing.
Source: The Korea Times

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