Mideast shipping ‘must focus on the East’
Dubai, October 27, 2010
The Middle East should prepare to capitalise on the world shipping industry’s increasing focus on the East, said an expert.
Nick Collins, COO of Clarksons, a leading shipping services centre in Dubai, was speaking at market projections session of the ongoing Seatrade Middle East Maritime (SMEM) conference in Dubai.
Collins’ presentation on market projections into 2011/2012 highlighted a significant need for the Western shipping industry to focus its business strategy on the Middle East and further East.
“World economic growth is estimated at around four percent by 2011/2012, with the Middle East even higher at around five percent, driven by the emerging economies, China, India, Brazil as well as the Middle East region,” Collins said.
“From 2003 to 2009 there was an increase of from 56 per cent to 69 per cent of ships looking to the East and this growth is expected to continue.”
“The region is absorbing fleet expansion from 2008 and the current order book is seeing ordering on a heroic scale, with not much cancellation but renegotiation of delivery dates. Demand is mainly driven by China; in 2009 China imported 84 million tonnes more than in 2008 in raw commodities, such as iron ore and coal,” he added.
As Eastern countries such as China increase their influence on the world’s shipping industry, companies from China have identified the power a Middle East presence can have to ensure their entry to the Western world, he said.
Chris Hayman, chairman of Seatrade, organisers of SMEM, said: “There was a real buzz on the show floor yesterday, with impressive first day visitor numbers that are up on 2008.”
“With 24 per cent more exhibitors and the event standing at approximately 19,000 sq m larger, the exhibition reflects the optimistic outlook for shipping presented in the opening session of the Money & Ships conference, especially in this region and further East,” he added.
The conference will conclude tomorrow (October 28), with sessions on ports & terminals, offshore and technology. – TradeArabia News Service