The German Minister of Transport, Dr. Peter Ramsauer, stated that the federal German government is and remains a reliable partner in maritime alliance.
“To keep Germany competitive as a maritime location, we will keep the tonnage tax in force. In doing so, we will ensure future-proof framework conditions for the maritime sector, which is a key growth engine for Germany as a whole. We need a strong merchant fleet sailing under the German flag. The federal government is and remains a reliable partner in the maritime alliance – and this applies especially in the difficult times of the economic and financial crisis. The federal government has kept its promise: for the coming years we will make roughly 60 million euros available to promote the maritime shipping sector and will therefore give this industry the planning certainty it needs. I’m also relying on the private foudation ‘Schifffahrtsstandort Deutschland’ to be able to provide additional funding in the near future. If all alliance partners keep their promises, with some 90 million euros from the public and private sectors we will be able to effectively reinforce the maritime industry’s competitiveness.”
With roughly 1,100 participants, the Maritime Conference is the key event of this industry sector; it is held every two years and was once again opened by Chancellor Angela Merkel. The primary focus this year was the extension and upgrade of Kiel Canal, the use of offshore wind energy, and proposed solutions to overcome the crisis faced by the shipping industry. The Federal Ministry of Transport was represented on both days by high-calibre functionaries, namely Federal Transport Minister Ramsauer and State Secretaries Michael Odenwald and Enak Ferlemann.
As a sideline to the Conference, Minister Ramsauer also inspected the system of locks in Kiel-Holtenau and gained a personal impression of the Levensauer Hochbrücke structure: “Kiel Canal has been sadly neglected over the past two decades. I’m pleased that I was able to fight for the necessary funding for the fifth lock chamber in Brunsbüttel and that the public tender is now under way. The next step is to submit a time schedule and plan of measures for Kiel Canal as a whole.”
Ramsauer also announced that the national port concept would be updated and that a draft for guidelines to this end would be presented by the end of this legislative period.
Press Release, April 11, 2013; Image: BMVBS