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Sea Asia 2009 to feature strong presence from China and HK

Sea Asia 2009 to feature strong presence from China and HK

Hong Kong: The second edition of Asia's leading maritime event, Sea Asia, is to boast an increased presence from China and Hong Kong, with a dedicated Chinese pavilion at the exhibition, event co-organisers Seatrade and the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) revealed at a press conference in Hong Kong today.

The event, to be held in Singapore from 21 to 23 April 2009, will bring together Asia's top maritime professionals to discuss how to raise the Asian shipping industry's voice - including that of China - on the global maritime stage. This is particularly pertinent since Asian ship owners currently control more than half the world's commercial fleet and the region's shipbuilders produce more than 85% of world output.

"Sea Asia has become the leading forum for ship owners and the Asian shipping community to come together and debate issues of vital mutual importance, said leading HK-based shipowner Kenneth Koo, Group chairman & ceo, Tai Chong Cheang, who will be a speaker at the event. "Because China has become such an important factor in the global shipping industry and has now produced world class shipping companies, its voice and opinions about the global market should be heard. I believe Sea Asia will provide that platform and I hope to see many Chinese companies and delegates at Sea Asia 2009."

Another high level speaker already committed to sharing his insights at Sea Asia is  Klaus Nyborg, deputy ceo, Pacific Basin Shipping (HK) , a leading dry bulk operator listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. "For many companies, the China market is central to their overall activities and  how the Chinese economy develops in future is of vital importance to all owners in the region and globally," he said. "The high level of debate at Sea Asia and the line up of companies who are attending the event ensure that China will be top of the agenda during  the conference and top of people's minds because of  the large number of exhibitors from China."

Such has been the interest in Sea Asia from China and Hong Kong, that leading companies such as DnB NOR, Lloyd's Register, PSA, ABS, Anglo-Eastern Group, DNV, DVB Bank, GAC, Germanischer Lloyd, Ince & Co, Keppel Offshore & Marine, Pacific International Lines, Shipserv and The Standard, all of whom have strong presence in China and Hong Kong, have agreed to sponsor the event.

Mr Koo and Mr Nyborg will join Lee, Jeong-Hwa, ceo of SK Shipping, Jeremy Penn, ceo of The Baltic Exchange and Yudhishthir Khatau, md of Varun Shipping, to discuss the Asian voice from the bulk market's perspective on the first day of Sea Asia .

This session will be chaired by Andreas Sohmen-Pao, md BW Shipping, who explains why Sea Asia 2009 is an ideal environment to express a united stance: "Asian companies play a key role in the maritime sector.  Although it is important to think in global terms, it is beneficial for the industry to have Asian based companies participating in the debate about future direction and policies," Sohmen-Pao said.

Other leading Asian session Chairmen include S.S. Teo, md of Pacific International Lines; president of the Singapore Shipping Association; and chairman of SMF, Choo Chiau Beng, chairman & ceo of Keppel Offshore & Marine Limited, Oh Kong-Gyun, chairman of IACS Council and chairman & ceo of Korean Register, as well as Michael Chia, president of the Association of Singapore Marine Industries (ASMI).

The "Asian Voice" theme will continue into the second day to touch on the offshore market. Controlling over 70% of the global rig building and FPSO conversion market, Singapore is certainly suitably placed to discuss this topic. The afternoon will see a dedicated session on finance for Asian shipping, whilst a parallel full-day stream will tackle technical issues such as emissions, ballast water treatment as well as shipbuilding and conversions.

A Charterers' Forum will be held in the morning of the closing day, which will present an outlook for the major bulk trades, both dry and liquid. A separate session will discuss the currently very hot topic of crewing and manning. A new session to be held concurrently in the morning will be led by BIMCO39 which will touch on "The Power of Communication", expounding topics on online networking, crisis communication and how bad communication can lead to legal disputes.  The afternoon sessions will deal with LNG shipping as well as marine insurance.

The choice to hold Sea Asia 2009 once again in the thriving maritime hub of Singapore has proven a significant draw to companies participating in the exhibition running alongside the conference. As at November, five months out from the event, more than 90% of the gross exhibition space of 11,000 square metres have already been confirmed and allocated. The majority of last year's exhibitors has committed themselves to the 2009 event and among the leading companies that will be exhibiting include ABB,  Drydocks World ?" SE Asia, IMC Corporation, STX, Thuraya as well as major classification societies from around the world.

At this stage, already five other countries apart from China have confirmed their participation through national pavilions. Japan, Korea, Norway, Panama and host country Singapore, will present their maritime capabilities and achievements. Over three days, visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the most recent product and service developments for the maritime industry.  More than 10,000 participants are expected at Sea Asia 2009, with four in 10 being foreign participation.   

Sea Asia is not only an excellent opportunity to catch up on the latest market intelligence, but also to forge important business contacts. Extensive social networking opportunities include a golf tournament sponsored by GAC on 20 April 2009 followed by a VIP dinner sponsored by PSA in the evening; a welcome reception sponsored by Panama Maritime Authority on 21 April 2009; plus the Official Reception sponsored by Keppel Offshore & Marine on 22 April 2009 in the exhibition hall.  

Sea Asia 2009 is jointly organised by Seatrade and the Singapore Maritime Foundation and strongly supported by an international advisory panel, which comprises experts from different sectors of the maritime industry, including COSCO's Capt Wei Jiafu and IMC Group's Tan Sri Frank Tsao.  [26/11/08]