Ken Skates has today stressed the importance of a collaborative approach to growing ports and connected economic activities throughout Wales.
With Welsh Government support, the Welsh Ports Group has organised a reception during London International Shipping week to offer ports professionals a unique opportunity to network and promote Welsh ports and their services, as well as promote Welsh ports to the international community.
Speaking at the event, Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates said:
“Ports in Wales are uniquely placed to be a driving force for economic wealth by supporting economic growth and jobs throughout Wales, as well as bringing added value to local communities.
“This is an important transitional year for Welsh Government us as we look forward to the devolution of ports related functions from next year under the Wales Act 2017. Devolution will bring exciting opportunities for us to enhance our working relationships with the sector and support the key role it has to play in achieving a prosperous, secure united and connected Wales.
“Collaborative working with the ports sector and businesses throughout Wales on the unique risks and opportunities Brexit represents is crucially important to ensure solutions which maximise the economic contribution ports make to our communities.
“I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to provide funding and speak at the Welsh Ports Groups’ reception for London International Shipping Week. This event further enhances the already strong engagement we have with the sector, Government and businesses stakeholders which are reliant on strong ports links.”
Callum Couper, Chair of the Welsh Ports Group, said;
“Ports in Wales handle some 55 m tonnes of cargo each year, over 10% of UK trade, and are essential infrastructure to support energy, manufacturing, construction, mining, agriculture and retail sectors of the economy both within Wales and the UK nationally. Ports are powerful facilitators of investment and employment and also support environmentally sustainable modes of cargo transport, reducing carbon emissions.
“The Welsh Government has long recognised the substantial contribution ports make to the economy of Wales. Together, the Welsh Ports Group and the Welsh Government are ensuring Wales’ ports are ready to meet the challenges and capitalise on the opportunities ahead.”
The Welsh Ports Group comprises of leaders from the majority of ports across Wales. Coordinated by the British Ports Association and the UK Major Ports Group, it provides regular advice and briefing to the Welsh Government and key decision makers across the planning, transport and maritime sectors.