Simon Mills, Mike Wardle

Published by
Long Finance & Financial Centre Futures (February 2024), 82 pages. Produced by Z/Yen in partnership with Busan Finance Center.

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Developments In Maritime Finance & Maritime Financial Centres

Z/Yen and Busan Finance Center have collaborated on new research on developments in Maritime Finance & Maritime Financial Centres.

The maritime sector is a critical part of the global economy which facilitates up to 90% of global trade. Maritime financial centres – the clusters of interlinked businesses, organisations, and agencies that support maritime activity - are vital for national and regional economies, and drive growth and employment throughout the supply chain.

This report, “Developments In Maritime Finance & Maritime Financial Centres”, looks at the scale and scope of the international maritime sector and examines how, in this era of rapid transformation, digitalization and the net-zero transition, new challenges and opportunities will affect maritime centres around the world.

The report finds that three key challenges will determine the success of maritime financial centres over the next couple of decades:

  • Embracing the challenge of financing the maritime industry – ship owners are facing an increasingly tight fiscal environment, as banks and equity funds redirect capital to lower risk sectors.
  • Embracing the challenge of net zero – Achieving International Maritime Organisation (IMO) net zero targets will have a seismic impact on the commercial shipping fleet over the next twenty years. This will send waves throughout the industry, affecting shipbuilding, technological development, insurance, the freight futures market, and finance.
  • Embracing technology advancements – Maritime financial centres have been slow to adopt developments in fintech. Many processes are still paper based and require the involvement of intermediaries for processing, adding to costs for both ship owners and clients. Digitisation holds significant promise to streamline processes and reduce costs, and new developments in blockchain technology hold promise for both ship financing and freight handling.
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