Apr 12th, 2011

Riding on the wave of a resurgent global economy, Sea Asia 2011 is set to open next week (April 12, 2011) as the biggest in the series yet – with every indication that Asia’s shipping community is primed to grab the many opportunities now arising.

Sea Asia 2011, which will open for three days from 12-14 April at Marina Bay Sands® in Singapore, will feature a major international exhibition exceeding a gross 13,600 square metres – 70% up on the inaugural event in 2007. The exhibition space has been sold out with more than 300 companies from 40 countries confirmed to exhibit. CEOs, shipping executives and professionals from 60 countries have registered to participate in the conference and exhibition.

Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Mr Teo Chee Hean will be the Guest of Honour to officially open Sea Asia 2011 and tour the exhibition on the morning of Tuesday, April 12.

Sea Asia 2011 is the region’s ‘must attend’ event of the year for Asia’s maritime industry. It is a gathering of business heads from all over the world to meet and discuss the direction of growth for the global shipping industry and indirectly – the world’s trade.

Sea Asia 2011 shows the resilience and dynamism of Asia’s maritime industries and again points to the fact that this region will continue to play a leading role in the global maritime sector. I am delighted to see maritime companies of diverse specialisations exhibiting at Sea Asia and there is every indication that the event will draw a record crowd,” said Michael Chia, Chairman of co-organisers the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF).

Themed ‘The Asian Voice in World Shipping’, the opening session of the conference will focus on the container shipping & logistics sector. Chairing the session will be Teo Siong Seng, who is MD of Pacific International Lines Pte Ltd and President of the Singapore Shipping Association. He will be joined on the panel by a Who’s Who of container shipping players. On the agenda: the pace and scale of economic recovery and its implications for container operators and cargo interests in both the intercontinental and intra-Asian trades.

The ‘Asian Voice’ theme will continue with a look at the crucial bulk trades sector in a session chaired by Mr Yudhishthir Khatau, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Varun Shipping Company Ltd, also President Designate of BIMCO. The panel will explore the prospects for the major dry and liquid bulk trades, in light of recovery-led growth and examining demand on the one hand and an expanding fleet on the other.

With such pivotal issues in the spotlight, and other topics on financing, green issues, technology updates, LNG Shipping as well as on offshore and energy, it is no wonder that Asia’s top maritime executives will headline the event. These include Mr Eng Aik Meng, President of APL; Mr Lionel Lee, Managing Director, Ezra Holdings Limited; Harald Serck-Hanssen, Global Head of Shipping, Offshore and Logistics, DnB NOR ASA; Philip Clausius, President & CEO, FSL Trust Management; Akira Akiyama, Division Vice President Engineering, Pacific Division, ABS; Remi Eriksen, COO & Head of Division Asia, Pacific & Middle East, DNV; Roger Roue, Principal Technical Advisor of the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators’ (SIGTTO); Andreas Sohmen-Pao, CEO, BW Group and CH Tong, CEO, Keppel Offshore & Marine.

In total, more than 12,000 shipping professionals are anticipated to join Sea Asia 2011 and of special interest will be seven country pavilions in the exhibition, where visitors can learn about the maritime industries of Singapore, China, Japan, Norway, Panama, Turkey and the United Kingdom through representatives of equipment suppliers, shipping companies and service providers.

“This is a very assuring nod from the Asian shipping industry. The large numbers of participants at Sea Asia 2011 are indicative of the positive outlook embraced by those in the maritime industry. Despite recent setbacks, such as the Japan disaster, which most people expect to drag the economy down, it has done the opposite.”

We should emulate the Japanese people in their steadfast and resilience nature, to overcome all obstacles that stand in our way and to stand up tall once again. In view of the rising economy, we have many industry experts both locally and internationally, sharing their expertise and opinions to address current challenges during Sea Asia 2011. As the saying goes, there is strength in numbers – the maritime industry has spoken and this year it will bounce back with a bigger bang.” said Mr Christopher Hayman, Chairman of Seatrade.

Sea Asia 2011 also provides extensive networking opportunities for participants wishing to forge new business relationships or re-establishing old ones. Networking events include the GAC Sea Asia 2011 Golf Classic, cocktail receptions, coffees/teas and delegate lunches in the exhibition hall.

Indeed, 72 maritime executives will gather on April 11 Monday for the GAC Sea Asia 2011 Golf Classic for a time of pre-event networking. Sponsored by global shipping, logistics and marine services provider GAC, the golf tournament will be held at Raffles Country Club. Speaking on GAC’s support and participation in Sea Asia 2011, Johannes Ericson, Marketing Manager, South East Asia & Australasia – Shipping Services said “GAC is delighted to be once again deeply involved in Sea Asia. We believe it will continue to serve us well in reaching our clients and the rest of the maritime community in Asia.”