Yesterday (September 9th), saw ministers and leaders of industry involved in an event at 10 Downing Street which was designed to allow discussion of Britain's competitiveness when it comes to the maritime sector.

Prior to the event, the Department for Transport (DfT) reported that this occasion was set to see representatives from shipping companies and maritime business services in attendance.

Attendees were set to talk about the things that attract shipping business to the United Kingdom from around the world, as well as ideas for boosting the nation's reputation for global leadership in this area.

"This is an industry with a natural home in the UK and London is the centre of the world for the professional, business and financial services that keep ships sailing," commented Patrick McLoughlin, the transport secretary and Conservative MP.

"Our quality flag, attractive tax regime, competitive ports, skilled labour base, expert service sector, and stable regulatory framework put us in a strong position," he added.

Mr McLoughlin said government was keen to work alongside the industry in an effort to come to an understanding about the things that might increase the UK's attractiveness as a business location further.

According to the DfT, shipping is still a growing industry in this part of the world, with the shipping register for the UK recording that during the last decade gross tonnage has increased by over 300 per cent.

Between 2004 and 2011, shipping employment went up from 73,000 to 146,000, meanwhile.

Mr McLoughlin has also now given word that the Support for Maritime Training scheme's annual budget is being increased.

This week will see ministers heading to several events themed around the maritime industry to discuss how this sector in the UK offers advantages compared to competitors from other countries.

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