Delegates from 25 organizations representing both the private and public maritime sectors, participated in a one-day workshop hosted by the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping (ADOMS) and facilitated by the Commonwealth Secretariat. The workshop was held at the new headquarters of the Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority on Wednesday, May 10th, 2023.
Through a series of presentations delivered by the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Consultant, ADOMS, the Fisheries Division, and the Port Authority, the workshop aimed to raise awareness of the importance of a National Maritime Transport Policy (NMTP) as a good governance practice. Engaging the representatives of the various Government Ministries/Agencies as well as private stakeholders in a meaningful dialogue served as the basis for the development of such a policy which is a critical component of a broader National Ocean Policy.
The workshop was followed by a week of scheduled one on one meetings with the various organizations in an effort to give each one the opportunity to provide in-depth information on the mandate of their organization and their individual issues, along with possible solutions that can be included in the policy. This two-pronged approach – the wider cross-sectional workshop followed by individual meetings – provided the necessary exchange of information that will form the foundation of the first draft of the National Maritime Transport Policy.
Participating agencies included the Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority, the Fisheries Division, the Environment Division, St. John’s Development Corporation, the West Indies Oil Company, the National Parks Authority, Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force Coast Guard, the Development Control Authority, the Antigua and Barbuda Ministry of Tourism, Antigua and Barbuda Yacht and Marine Association, Ministry of Finance – Development Planning Unit, the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Customs and Excise Department, the Antigua Cruise Port, the Immigration Department, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central Board of Health, the Department of the Blue Economy and the Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping. The Shipping Agents were represented by Bryson’s Shipping, Faster Freight, Carib Seas, Vernon G. Edwards, Tropical Shipping, and Jasco Agencies Ltd.