SMM Istanbul 2011 now has the support of the Turkish Undersecretariat for Maritime Affairs and the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM). The second SMM Istanbul is to be held at the modernized and enlarged Lütfi Kirdar Convention & Exhibition Centre (ICEC) from 26 to 28 January next year. At that first event in January 2009, SMM Istanbul attracted more than 4,000 trade visitors from 66 countries, showcasing 150 exhibitors from 30 countries. The high international level achieved right from the start by the first SMM overseas exhibition no doubted owed a lot to the quality standards of the SMM brand, which stands for the world’s leading international shipbuilding industry fair. SMM is held every two years – this year the 24th shipbuilding, machinery & marine technology, international trade fair hamburg will be held by Hamburg Messe und Congress from 7 to 10 September 2010. In November 2009, the second overseas offshoot was launched, with the first SMM India in Mumbai – which was likewise successful right from the start.
The primary task of the SSM (Undersecretariat for Defence Industries), on behalf of the Turkish Government, is to modernize the Turkish naval, air and land forces and the Turkish defence industry. It collates the technical requirements for naval vessels and maritime weapon systems, plans their production, takes on the management of research and development projects, coordinates export and marketing activities. Thus the SSM has excellent connections with all the Turkish shipyards and marine equipment suppliers. The Turkish Government has recognised the opportunities of the shipbuilding industry, and launched a funding programme for Turkish companies in the maritime industries. “The shipbuilding industry ensures networking of Turkey with the world,” said Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek at the launch of a ship at the Selah Yard at the beginning of the year. Turkey and the whole of the region therefore give enormous market potential. That also opens up good opportunities for marine equipment suppliers from abroad.
The Turkish shipbuilding industry had to face losses from the financial crisis like other shipbuilding countries, but the companies were able to draw on relatively well filled order books. On 1 April this year, as shown in the figures of Clarkson Research Services, the Turkish shipyards had orders for 137 ships with a total of 1.2 million CGT, including 79 tankers with a capacity of 10,000 tonnes dwt, and 28 Handy Chemical Tankers, i.e. chemical carriers in the 10 – 60,000 dwt range.