- Posted by: Joyce Watson MS
- Category: Feature
WELSH politicians were in Dublin last week (1 October) to learn how Wales can make the most of its ‘maritime economy’.
The National Assembly for Wales’ Enterprise and Business Committee is conducting an inquiry into developing the potential of the ocean economy.
Marine Energy Pembrokeshire, a partnership between technology developers, the supply chain, academia and the public sector, and Milford Haven Port have submitted early evidence to the committee.
Committee member, Labour Mid and West AM Joyce Watson attended the visit. She commented:
“Wales and Ireland are separated by sea – this inquiry is about turning that around, realising the economic potential of our shared connection to the Irish Sea and Atlantic Ocean, both as a natural resource and as a thoroughfare for people, goods and services.
“Pembrokeshire is integral to the strategy – our ports, the Milford Haven Enterprise Zone, energy industry and burgeoning renewable energy sector. The committee will report on how the Welsh Government can support the development of Wales’ maritime economy.”
Assembly Members met Irish government ministers Paschal Donohoe (Transport, Tourism and Sport) and Simon Coveney (Agriculture, Food and the Marine), as well as experts in renewable energy and representatives of the Irish Exporters Association. The visit concluded with a tour of Dublin Port.
The Enterprise and Business Committee ran an initial consultation between July and October. It is interested in hearing about:
• The Welsh Government’s approach to developing the potential of the maritime economy;
• The use of EU funding sources to support the development of the maritime economy;
• Welsh engagement with EU level initiatives such as Ocean Energy Europe and the Ocean Energy Forum;
• The effectiveness of Welsh ports and hinterland connections in Wales in promoting connectivity to Ireland and the rest of Wales;
• The way in which the Enterprise Zones help to promote the ports and related businesses;
• How Welsh ports, ferry operators and related businesses can benefit from and support the development of the Maritime economy, including marine energy;
• What, if any, support should be provided to ensure the benefits are realised in the most effective way;
• The implications of the St David’s Day announcement which proposes to devolve the responsibility of ports policy to Wales and how it can support connectivity and the development of the Maritime Economy;
• How can Wales realise the strategic importance of planned initiatives such as the tidal lagoon projects in West Wales and the Anglesey Energy Island Programme?
• The key barriers and risks to development of marine energy and how Wales can help overcome these.
• How Welsh ports, ferry operators and related businesses can benefit from and support the development of the Maritime economy, including marine energy.
For information about the inquiry including how to contribute, visit http://www.senedd.assembly.wales/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=13275