The International Shipping Strategic Development Forum met in Shanghai for wide-ranging discusion on the shipping industry.
With high profile support from the Lord Mayor of London David Wooton who opened the forum, the event was attended by 450 and brought together some of the UK’s leading maritime professionals and China’s shipowners and charterers.
Key presentations from the forum included:
Economic outlook: Standard Chartered China Chief Economist Shen Lan gave a modest assessment on global economic outlook. She predicts China’s economy will grow 7.7% in 2012 and slightly pick up to 7.8% in 2013, while US’ growth remains soft and European economy’s main risk is to the downside.
Containerships: Sinotrans CSC’s Vice President Tao Suyun stated that the containership sector may recover earlier than bulk carrier and oil tanker sectors.
Financial leasing: Raymond Yu, Vice President of China Merchant Group noted that financial leasing in China has grown 160 times in the last six years, and there is still great potential ahead as penetration rate is still 3.1%.
Cruise industry: According to Chris Hayman, chairman of Seatrade Communications, China’s outbound tourism market has more than doubled to 70m in just six years and is on track to become the world’s largest outbound market. Although Chinese passenger numbers are now only approaching 300,000, some 300m Chinese are identified as potential cruise passengers – the equivalent of the entire population of either North America or Western Europe.
Ship technology: BMT Asia’s Mark Yong gave a comprehensive overview on 17 types of new technology and new designs for better fuel efficiency and performance, ranging from hull design, propeller optimizing, solar power to propulsion by wind, and provided solid data validation of their effectiveness on achieving energy saving.
Ship finance: European banks are restrained due to Basel III requirements, as pointed out by Standard Chartered head of ship finance Nigel Anton, but Chinese financial institutes are determined to remain in the ship finance sector. They are still looking to maintain their shipping portfolio to continue the “love-hate” relationship between shipping and finance, as pointed out by China Construction Bank’s Zhang Xiangqun.