Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
It’s a pleasure to see so many of you here at this gala dinner.
Just as it’s been a pleasure welcoming the world’s shipping industry to London this week.
I hope you’ve found it productive and stimulating.
And after all the meetings, trade shows, receptions and conferences.
I’m delighted that over 800 of you are here tonight (10 September 2015).
For a well-earned chance to relax and enjoy the culmination of London International Shipping Week 2015.
There have been many highlights for me.
The international round table at 10 Downing Street.
Where me and my ministerial colleagues welcomed key industry players from around the world.
To discuss the most important issues faced by the sector today.
The launch of the Maritime growth study.
A hugely important document which sets out a future direction for how government and industry can work in partnership to boost maritime growth.
And it was wonderful to have the royal patronage of Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal at the welcome reception on Tuesday.
My mission as Transport Secretary has been to really position transport policy at the heart of government.
Which means everything we do in transport must support sustainable economic growth.
To create opportunity and prosperity.
And maritime is an absolutely crucial part of that.
That’s why we’ve seen billions going into UK ports.
To name a few.
And why we’re investing in better road and rail connections that supply these great shipping hubs.
It’s why I’ve raised the profile of maritime within government.
Why we’ve been cutting unnecessary red tape which holds this industry back.
Why we’re investing in maritime training and apprenticeships.
And why we strive to make London a fantastic place to do maritime business.
But while domestic maritime policy is important.
What really makes this industry unique is its global reach.
Without international partnerships and collaboration, there is no maritime growth.
This industry transcends national boundaries, national governments, and national economies.
And that’s why this week is so important.
We’ve been showing what London and the UK can offer.
Efficient global trade needs strong and competitive maritime centres like London to access the full range of services and expertise.
So we’re very proud to be a one-stop-shop for the global maritime industry.
But London International Shipping Week is really about you.
People from different countries coming together to talk, learn, and make new connections.
And with more than 100 events going on this week, there’s been lots to talk about.
Growing markets and the direction of the global economy.
Maritime security, and international naval co-operation to improve the governance of the seas.
And the safety of our seafarers.
I’ve been really pleased that there’s been a lot of debate about the role of women in the maritime industry.
To get more women pursuing maritime careers.
And to support those women who are already involved.
We’ve talked about international governance.
And the protection of the marine environment.
Issues that affect every single maritime country.
And that ultimately link us all.
So really, this week has been a celebration of the global maritime industry.
And what’s really made it successful is you.
And thousands of other maritime professionals who have taken part.
So on that note, I’d like to finish by saying thanks.
Thank you all for coming.
For making London International Shipping Week 2015 so special.
And for making this gala dinner a fitting conclusion.
Please, enjoy the rest of the evening.
And I look forward to welcoming you back in 2017.