Shipping industry sees hope in arising opportunities and resilient sectors
Singapore, 2 February 2012 – Several bright spots in the maritime industry are showing prospects and opportunities even as the global shipping industry faces a slow sail this year. Offshore, shipbuilding, green shipping and a growing Asia – these sectors will be the focus of the Asia Pacific Maritime (APM) 2012, which takes place in Singapore from 14 to 16 March this year.
Regarded as Asia’s premier maritime event, APM is set to see dynamic discussions between world maritime leaders on the outlook of the shipping industry and the opportunities to help industry players cope with the slowing economy.
Industry heavyweights, Mr Nobor Ueda, Chairman and President of ClassNK and Vice-Chairman of the International Association of Classification Societies Ltd. (IACS) Council, and Mr Simon Bennett, External Relations Director of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) will co-host the keynote session at APM 2012, themed Asian Shipping: Coping with Turbulent Waters.
“The strength of the shipping industry is inexplicably tied to volatile economic trends and trade patterns. However, despite the uncertainty in the industry, the outlook for Asia remains bright, ” said Mr Ueda. “Singapore, in particular, with its tripartite model of forging partnerships is a shining example of how to overcome the downsides of the sluggish global economy.”
Mr Bennett has a more cautious view. “It is currently necessary for any prudent ship operator to anticipate the unexpected. While we had assumed that the worst was over following the 2008 banking crisis, the health of the global economy is still very fragile, and most shipping markets expect a very rough ride in 2012. The only real bright light perhaps is Asia, which continues to sustain demand for many shipping trades, although with the current uncertainty in Europe, even this cannot be guaranteed.”
Maritime associations in Asia are optimistic on the region’s ability to ride out the storm and steer towards a positive forecast. “The maritime industry in Indonesia is now more advanced and the focus has moved beyond domestic trade to international trade as well. Domestically, shipbuilding, offshore, tugs and barges, and vessels are performing well, ” said Mrs Carmelita Hartoto, Chairman of Indonesian National Shipowners’ Association (INSA).
She added: “The commitment by Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam to implement the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015 will grow ASEAN into a highly competitive and connected economic region. Production and distribution networks will be widened and deepened, in turn supporting the maritime industries among ASEAN member countries. ASEAN has also determined priorities that cover opportunities in cooperation in maritime connectivity and the development of port facilities among ASEAN member states.”
“Malaysia has a thriving offshore oil and gas sector and we will continue to consolidate our position as the deep-water hub in the South East Asia region and commanding lead in handling halal cargo. Intra-ASEAN and intra-Asian trade volumes are also expected to grow, and so will transhipment. These will provide some glimmer of hope to what will otherwise be a tough year ahead for ports, ” said En. Nazery Khalid, Senior Fellow of Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA).
On the launch of the Malaysian Shipbuilding/Ship Repair Industry Strategic Plan 2020 in December 2011, he added that it will give a much needed boost to the local shipbuilding and ship repairing industry. “The plan charts a clear course to develop and promote Malaysia into a major player in the small- to medium-sized shipbuilding market, attracting investment, nurture expertise and create employment opportunities.”
Ms Marjan Lacet, General Manager of Holland Marine Equipment (Singapore Branch), is also confident that the maritime industry in Asia is going strong. “Geographically, Asia plays an important role in the future for many Dutch maritime companies. In February 2012, Holland Marine Equipment will open its Singapore branch office. This branch will actively help to build and establish a network between Dutch maritime companies with local companies in the Asia Pacific market.”
Asia Pacific Maritime 2012, bringing the world maritime industry to Asia
Ms Michelle Lim, Managing Director of Reed Exhibitions, which organises APM, said: “To date, 90% of the exhibition space has been taken up and we are expecting over 13, 000 visitors. Such a positive response echoes the experts’ view on the prospects in Asia and the growing interest from international players in the region.”
“With the growing influence of Asia in the shipping industry and the strategic location of the event in Singapore, we are seeing more exhibitors from the West looking to leverage on APM to seek opportunities and use it as a springboard to establish connections with Asian players, ” Ms Lim added.
The budding outlook is further illustrated with the event welcoming two new official pavilions from Taiwan and Australia, making a total of 14 official pavilions. Norway, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and China will also be expanding their pavilions in terms of size and participation numbers, signalling more robust market activity at this year’s event.
APM will be held at a brand new location at the Marina Bay Sands. Spanning two levels, the event will occupy a total area of 18, 000 square metres. The 12th edition this year will be bigger and highly relevant to international industry players to help them cope with the current economic downturn.
The high-powered event comprises a comprehensive exhibition, a host of international networking sessions and a series of conferences and seminars led by world maritime leaders. This year’s conference will zoom in on the key growing sectors– namely offshore, bunkering, green shipping and technologies – as well as pertinent issues such as work safety.
The 4th Offshore Support Vessels Summit, organised in partnership with ACI, will analyse new markets, the challenges and the latest cutting-edge technologies in the offshore shipping industry. The International Bunker Industry Association will host the keynote session entitled Environmental issues affecting bunker supply and quality: the Asian Perspective to discuss the latest regulatory update and issues surrounding fuel supply and fuel quality.
The Singapore Institution of Safety Officers, with the support of the Ministry of Manpower and Workplace Safety and Health Council, will organise a session to discuss workplace safety and health, one of the most concerned topics of the maritime industry. “Environmental awareness and social responsibility have been the buzzwords in the maritime industry for half a decade now. These broader perspectives are necessary in today’s business, to keep up the awareness at political and international levels, ” said Mr Mark Lerche, Export Consultant, Danish Marine Group.
APM 2012 will be taking place between 14 and 16 March 2012 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
About Asia Pacific Maritime 2012
Asia Pacific Maritime (APM) is the one-stop market for the region’s maritime community, showcasing the latest in marine engineering and port technology. Regarded by the industry as the region’s premier maritime event, APM will be featuring shipbuilding & marine, workboat and offshore segments. APM offers a holistic business experience by combining a comprehensive exhibition, high-powered conferences and seminars, and a host of networking sessions that connect quality Asia Pacific buyers to international maritime suppliers.
While sourcing products that will put your company at the forefront of the maritime business, APM also allows you to explore new international markets and grow your business globally. Celebrating its 12th edition in 2012, APM is one of Asia’s most established and proven maritime exhibitions and is strongly supported by the international maritime community. Take this opportunity to create business exposure with the industry where over 900 leading international maritime exhibitors across 50 countries converge with an expected 13, 000 Asian visitors.
For more information on Asia Pacific Maritime 2012, visit the official website at www.apmaritime.com.
About Reed Exhibitions:
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 440 events in 36 countries. In 2009 Reed brought together over six million active event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and organised by 35 fully staffed offices. Reed organises a wide range of events, including trade and consumer exhibitions, conferences and meetings. Its portfolio of over 440 events serves 44 industry sectors, including: Aerospace & aviation, automobiles, beauty & cosmetics, broadcasting, building & construction, electronics, energy, oil & gas, engineering & manufacturing, food service & hospitality, gifts, healthcare, interior design, IT & telecoms, jewellery, life science & pharmaceuticals, machinery, marketing, business services & training, medical education, printing & graphics, security & safety, sports & recreation, travel. Working closely with professional bodies, trade associations and government departments Reed ensures that each and every event is targeted and relevant to industry needs. As a result, many Reed events are market leaders in their field. Reed Exhibitions is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a FTSE-100 company and world-leading publisher and information provider. In 2009, Reed Elsevier made an adjusted profit before taxation of £1, 279 million on turnover of £6, 071 million.