Mauritius Maritime Week 2018

The first ever Mauritius Maritime Week (MMW) 2018 was duly held from Monday 22 to Friday 26 January 2018 at the Ravenala Hotel, Balaclava. A series of activities were programmed during the week in view of showcasing our island on the international front, especially, Port Louis Harbour, as a cruise destination as well as an important maritime logistics and transhipment hub in this region of the world. The MMW 2018 also included the 12th Indian Ocean Ports & Logistics 2018 Conference and Exhibition.

Various partners’ participation were solicited and successfully secured to make the MMW 2018 grand. This included the Cargo Handling Corporation Ltd, the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Agency, Air Mauritius Ltd, the British Council (Mauritius), the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education & Scientific Research,  the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection and the Ministry of Tourism among others.

About 300 delegates from 19 different countries attended the MMW 2018. 


The main event on Day 1 was the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) training session on the topic “Bunkering – Moving to the Next Level”, in collaboration with Celero Group. This training session was led by Mr. Justin Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, IBIA, United Kingdom.

There were over 50 participants at this training session, including 5 MPA Officers.


To view the photo gallery for this day, click here ...


Three port visits were organized on Day 2. First, there was one technical site visit of selected port facilities for 85 IOPL delegates, mainly foreigners, in the morning. This visit started with a technical presentation followed by a guided tour of Port Louis Harbour. The main aim of this technical visit was to offer the delegates, especially those from abroad, a firsthand view of the capabilities and possibilities of business that exist at Port Louis Harbour.

Simultaneously, there were two port visits for 60 HSC students in two batches, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. The main objective of these visits was to offer these HSC students a glimpse of what the port industry is all about and the possibilities of a career in the maritime and port sector.

The Ports Association of the Indian Ocean Islands (PAIOI) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on this day. Mr. Ramalingum Maistry, Chairman of the MPA was elected as the new President of the PAIOI at the AGM.


To view the photo gallery : Delegates Technical Site Visit 23 Jan 2018, Click here ...

To view the photo gallery : Students Port Visit 23 Jan 2018 Morning Session, click here ...

To view the photo gallery : Students Port Visit 23 Jan 2018 Afternoon Session, click here ...



The Opening ceremony of the MMW 2018 was held on Day 3 to coincide with the official opening of the 12th IOPL Conference and Exhibition. The Honourable Prime Minister graced this function which was attended by a number of Ministers, diplomats, VIPs and other prominent guests from the business, maritime and port community.

The Prize Giving Ceremony of the MMW 2018 Essay Competition organised in collaboration with the British Council and the Ministry of Education was also held on that day.  Three winners respectively in the secondary and tertiary category were handed their prizes by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Education and the MPA Chairman.

The Prime Minister officially opened the Maritime Week and the 12th IOPL Conference and Exhibition and thereafter accompanied by the MPA Senior Officials effected a tour of the Exhibition. The Conference side of the event was kicked off by the “CEO Forum” which saw the participation of eminent speakers, including Captain K. Subramaniam, General Manager of Port Klang Authority, Malaysia who chaired this session.

The “CEO Forum” was followed by “Session 1: Mauritius Economic Outlook and Port Financing: Positioning for Global Hub with Diversified Economy and Export-Oriented Trade”.

Session 2: “Establishing Mauritius as the Transhipment and Bunkering Hub in Africa and Indian Ocean” saw the participation of the Honourable Ashit Kumar Gungah, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection.

During this session, the delegates were informed that Port Louis Harbour was currently handling approximately 5% of the regional bunkering market which stands at around 5 million tonnes per year.  Given its strategic location, which is adjacent to one of the largest ocean routes on the East/West trade past South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, Port Louis is well on course to become a leading petroleum hub in Africa.  This is in line with the Government’s objective to transform the petroleum sector into one of the strategic pillars of the economy.  Port Louis presents a whole panoply of advantages as a bunkering hub, ranging from competitive port charges, facilities for disposal of fuels, bunker sample analysis that may be conducted locally as well as a full-fledged, safe and naturally sheltered port.  It was also acknowledged that  thanks to the  Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection Ministry and other stakeholders, an e-bunkering platform is now available to streamline bunker booking procedures. 

This platform offers a seamless experience with enhanced visibility and traceability on application for bunkering services.  The delegates also took note of the different projects, which were in the pipeline .  The completion of these projects coupled with the proper institutional and regulatory framework would no doubt propel Port Louis Harbour into a modern bunkering hub in the region.


To view the photo gallery : Opening Ceremony, CEO Forum & Conferences 24 Jan2018, Click here ...

To view the photo gallery : Gala Dinner 24 Jan 2018, Click here ...



Day 4 which was planned to start at 09:00 hours with Session 3: “Gearing up to Capitalise on Blue Economy” with the participation of Honourable Premdut Koonjoo, Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, and Shipping had to be rescheduled in the afternoon at 15:30 hours due to the torrential rain warning issued by the Mauritius Meteorological Services.

At this session, the delegates were informed that the oceans cover 72 percent of the surface of our blue planet and provide a substantial portion of the global population with food and livelihood. Enhancing more than 80 percent of global trade, marine and coastal environments constitute a key resource for economic development. On the basis of the strategic location of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean region, it was emphasised during this session on growing the Blue Economy in a sustainable, inclusive and people centred manner.  It was also debated that the objective of the Blue Economy is to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and employment opportunities Mauritius.  The Speakers proposed  different programmes for sustainable harnessing of ocean resources, research and develop relevant sectors of oceanography, assess stock marine resources, introduce marine aquaculture deep sea/long line fishing and biotechnology and develop human resources while safeguarding sustainability and environmental protection

With the new challenges that the Blue Economy sector is facing,  the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, and Shipping is endeavouring  to promote this important sector as a driver for sustainable development; research and development; investment, technology transfer, with capacity building being crucial in exploring the full potential of the oceans for the socio-economic benefit of the region.

The other sessions during the day dealt respectively with the issue of  “Ports of the Future: End-to-End Innovation and Automation for Operational Efficiency and Productivity in Indian Ocean Ports” and “Increasing Export Competitiveness in the Indian Ocean: Maximising Supply Chain with Integrated Strategy and Business Information System”.  The latter’s session was moderated by Mrs. Nozipho Mdawe, Secretary-General of the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA).



To view the photo gallery : Day 4 - Conferences 25 Jan 2018, Click here ...



Day 5 started with Session 6:  “Women in Logistics and Transport” with the participation of delegates and students from the Loreto College Port Louis.   This Conference segment was moderated by Mrs. Nazeema Seelarbokus, Chairperson of Women in Logistics and Transport (WiLAT) Mauritius with the contribution of the following Speakers:

  • Dato' Sharifah Halimah Syed Ahmad CMILT, from Malaysia who represented WiLAT international in her capacity as WiLAT Asia Forum Convenor.  She made a presentation on the “The Maritime Sector in Malaysia - Does Gender Diversity exist at the Management level of the Seaport - Malaysia case". 
  • Ms Maggie Heraty, FCILT, from UK who spoke on Transport and Logistics as a tool for economic prosperity and women's empowerment. Maggie is a humanitarian logistician who previously carried out transport-based development projects worldwide, including working on tourism transport in several island nations of the Indian Ocean, Pacific and Caribbean. 
  • Mrs. Nozipho Mdawe, Secretary-General, of the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa made a presentation on Mentoring: A Powerful Tool for Personal Development and Empowerment for Women

This session was  geared at sharing ideas, experiences, initiatives and recommendations regarding the essential role that women play in transport and Logistics.  The Speakers, in their respective presentations, focused on current and critical issues where women have an essential role to play including:

  • Gender Diversity
  • Women as drivers for economic prosperity and their empowerment through sustainable development and inclusive growth
  • Mentoring as a programme designed by women in transport for women in transport


To view the photo gallery : WiLAT 26 Jan 2018, Click here ...


Session 7: “Presentation on Mauritius Cruise Business” in the afternoon saw the participation of Honourable Anil Kumarsingh Gayan, Minister of Tourism and eminent Speakers, notably Mr. Pascal Viroleau, CEO of the Vanilla Islands, Ms. Aradhana Khowala,  Managing Partner of Bridge Over Group, a Specialist Hospitality Consulting Firm  and Mrs. Maggie Heraty, Transport and Tourism Consultant. 

The Speakers explained that the modern cruise industry is one of the most outstanding examples of globalization with an increasing number of ports of call and destinations around the globe, a multinational clientele and on-board personnel from every continent, and a level of detachment from communities and nations never seen before in history, with important economic, legal, environmental and social implications.  Indeed, the cruise industry has increased in popularity all around the world, serving a heterogeneous clientele with well-differentiated expectations and preferences in the Asian, European and North American and Indian Ocean markets.

For his part, Mr. Pascal Viroleau drew attention that in order to further promote the Indian Ocean as a preferred cruise destination, aggressive marketing campaigns must be launched in Europe and Asia  to entice more cruise lines to call in the region.   

In his remarks, the Minister of Tourism emphasized that this session was of overriding importance especially as it provided  a golden opportunity to brainstorm on strategies that will best position Port Louis to benefit from long term growth opportunities and tactical measures to deal with volatility and challenges in the short and medium term. The Minister announced that in a bid to cater for the buoyancy in the cruise segment,  the MPA was proceeding with the upgrading of the existing facility with the construction of a dedicated Cruise Terminal Building, which will be used to service both the inter-island and international passenger traffic.  The design of this iconic  building has been finalized and the construction is expected to start during mid 2018 and the project would be completed in 2019 at an estimated cost of Rs 680 million.  The Minister also spoke about the various challenges in terms of efficient managerial, organizational and planning structures and the many changing factors in the evolving world cruise market that generates over $15 billion every year.   

As regards networking opportunities, the Chairman and the Director-General had a series of consultations with international stakeholders.  On a positive note, the representatives of Abu Dhabi Ports and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority had expressed keen interest in collaborating with the MPA to:

  • enhance and exchange commercial information to improve trading relations
  • exchange technological and operational methods for the improvement of port facilities
  • promote cooperative action on international issues involving shipping, trade and security of facilities for both cargo and cruise operations
  • benefit from visibility in international markets
  • enhance the understanding of international trade issues and commercial relationships

In conclusion, it goes without saying that the  MMW 2018 was an excellent platform for the professionals of the port industry to take stock of the latest trends in the field of advanced robotics and innovative technologies, which were impacting drastically on the maritime and port sector as well as the world of jobs. The event was enjoyed by everyone who attended it during the five memorable days with fantastic contents and great depth of speakers.  It was a stunning example of how a successful event connects people, breeds innovation, builds communities and most importantly sparks change.  The MPA successfully reinforced its ongoing collaboration with the regional ports and other port related organisations in Malaysia, UAE, South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Zambia, Nigeria, Belgium, Germany, Ghana,  Djibouti etc.  


To view the photo gallery : Mauritius Cruise Business 26 Jan 2018, Click here ...