While still one of the world's most important maritime centers, Singapore has undoubtedly suffered of late. It endured the world's deepest recession last year, its worst economic year since gaining independence more than 30 years ago.
Singapore is bouncing quickly back to growth. It appears that GDP growth in 2002 will be better than 3.4 per cent. Already, the second quarter has produced growth of 3.9 percent.
It is too early to say when or if growth rates will recover to those of 2000 - when it was 10.3 per cent - but, nevertheless, most Singaporeans
agree that "happy days are here again".
The recession did not really affect the maritime sector but it certainly dampened the mood in the Island Republic overall. In fact, many sectors of
the maritime industry forged ahead throughout.
What it did do, though, for the Lion City's major maritime event for 2003 was dislodge an inconvenient competitor. For whatever reason, that competing event has been cancelled leaving the field entirely to Asian Shipping
Boat World Asia which will be held at Suntec Singapore from
February 18-20, 2003.
Covering the whole maritime industry including all kinds of commercial and government ships and boats as well as port operations, Asian Shipping/Work Boat World Asia is south-east Asia
's only complete maritime event. It aims primarily to attract owners and operators of commercial and government vessels as well as port managers