An Italy-IORA roundtable was held on 21 October 2019 in Rome at the Confitarma headquarters, dedicated to the theme “Blue economy and Italy-IORA collaboration: the decarbonisation of maritime transport”, organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the South African presidency of IORA, and with the support of the Italian maritime cluster.

The meeting opened with greetings from Carlo Lombardi, Secretary General of the Federation of the Sea, Luca Sabbatucci, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sheldon Moulton, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Embassy of South Africa in Italy, and Biagio di Terlizzi, Deputy Director and head of international cooperation of CIHEAM Bari.

Gatot Hari Gunawan, director of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), in his report recalled that the recent ministerial conferences of the IORA countries have created a basis for developing strategies aimed at strengthening cooperation on the growth of the blue economy in the Indian Ocean in the field of aquaculture, maritime tourism, private sector involvement in infrastructure, port network, financial inclusion, sustainable exploration and exploitation of maritime resources and addressing the threat of marine pollution and plastic debris.

Representatives of the Italy-IORA Committee and representatives of the Embassies of IORA countries (Bangladesh, Indonesia, Oman and Thailand) participated in the debate.

Laurence Martin, Confitarma’s Head of International Relations, stressed that decarbonisation is a priority for the maritime industry, recalling IMO 2020 regulations on emissions, which from 1 January 2020 require that the sulphur content in ship emissions must not exceed 0.5%. The second goal, to be achieved in 2050, is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared to 2018.

In conclusion, Carlo Lombardi recalled that the IMO should remain the only office appointed to issue regulations for the maritime sector. “Only regulations from this international body find uniform application across the world. And this guarantees fair competition on all maritime markets, a prerequisite for any development of the Blue Economy. A significant example are precisely the ambitious goals adopted for limiting ship emissions to combat climate change ”.