|China Maritime 2012 – the best yet|
|Wednesday, 14 March 2012 12:03|
The fourth China Maritime Week was held in Hong Kong from February 28 to March 1, laying a strong claim to have been the best and most successful yet.
China Maritime 2012 took place at a time when the international maritime community is facing continued fall-out from the global financial crisis, as well as regulatory upheaval, with new rules pending on everything from the environmental impact of shipping to electronic navigation.
More than 1,400 industry representatives from across the globe attended China Maritime at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), including senior executives from international ship-owning companies as well as representatives from ship design firms, shipbuilders and suppliers to the region’s shipbuilding industry.
Events kicked off on the morning of Tuesday, February 28, with a spectacular opening ceremony, with visitors entertained by a Chinese lion dance for good luck and prosperity. This was followed by an opening address from Ms Eva Cheng, the Secretary for Transport and Housing for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
“We are very happy to play host to this biennial event for the fourth time,” said Ms Cheng. “Since the event was last held in 2010, we have seen ups and downs in the global economic scene and it remains to be seen how the eurozone crisis will unfold. But in this part of the world, intra-Asia trading, including shipping activities, have become more vibrant.”
Ms Cheng, together with Baird Events chairman Neil Baird, then cut the ribbon to the entrance of the exhibition hall, and officially opened China Maritime. Visitors could then peruse the exhibition, which featured the cream of the maritime world, including shipping and work boats, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, political, regulatory and media bodies, and experts on the marine environment. Meanwhile, a wide-ranging schedule of conferences and seminars got underway.
There was a very strong turn-out for the symposium presented by the Young Professionals in Shipping Network (YPSN). Among four excellent speakers, distinguished maritime commentator (and Work Boat World columnist) Michael Grey gave a fascinating address on the lessons learned from the ‘Titanic’ disaster, 100 years on. Another very important speaker was Ms Sabrina Chao, chief executive pf the vast Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings.
Another superb event took place later in the afternoon, when the Philippines Maritime League held a promotion to discuss the huge contribution made by the South-East Asian nation in the global maritime industry. Among a strong line-up of speakers, congressman Roger G Mercado, the chairman of the Philippine Congress Committee on Transportation, gave the main address, entitled “The Philippines – A Sea of Maritime Opportunity”. He highlighted the many incentives that are attracting the world’s leading shipbuilders to the Philippines.
“Being the world’s number one in seafaring, the manning capital of the world, the fourth-largest shipbuilder in the world and a leader in maritime education in the region, the Philippines enjoys an enviable position as a frontrunner in the global maritime industry,” said Mercado. “It is therefore very timely that this international maritime exhibition and conference can be a venue to highlight and promote our country’s opportunities in shipbuilding, seafaring, ship-management, training and maritime development.”
Also on Tuesday, Marine Money held its one-day Asian conference – a forum generally held to be of the highest quality by those lucky enough to attend. Finally, as the day’s conferences and seminars wound down and the exhibition closed its doors for the evening, Baird Events held a cocktail reception at the HKCEC, allowing guests to relax and unwind after a superb first day.
After such an impressive start, the line-up of high-quality events continued on the second day, with an all-day Ballast Water Management Symposium, organised by the Hong Kong Ship Owners Association and Baird Maritime, first on Wednesday’s agenda. With ballast water toxicity emerging as a key environmental issue for the shipping industry, this was an unparalleled opportunity for guests to compare some of the world’s leading treatment systems.
Continuing the environmental theme, a briefing seminar was held by the World Ocean Council (WOC), a highly regarded authority on maritime environmental issues. During the afternoon, INTERFERRY held its regional meeting, led by Len Roueche, the CEO of the ferry industry trade association.
Wednesday evening saw opportunities to network in a more informal setting, or just relax and unwind. At Hong Kong’s iconic Island Shangri-La Hotel, the Sailors’ Society dinner was held to raise funds for this international charity’s invaluable work in support of seafarers worldwide. Guests enjoyed fine dining while being entertained by the guest speaker, sports presenter Dougie Donnelly. Meanwhile, the Nautical Institute was staging its Maritime Week Dinner at the Indian Recreation Club, another fine event.
There may have been some sore heads on Thursday morning following the previous night’s celebrations, but the final day of China Maritime showed no sign of flagging in terms of the quality on the agenda. Product presentation seminars took place throughout the day, with varied and interesting presentations from AMOT and Wärtsilä China.
Sponsored by Det Norske Veritas, the Cleans Seas, Ships, Shores and Ports all-day conference showcased the best maritime sustainability practices. With an emphasis on the pragmatic, non-extremist side of the environmental debate, the event boasted a line-up of distinguished speakers such as WOC founder Paul Holthus and INTERMEPA’s Neil Baird.
Later, brilliant new research that could revolutionise slow-speed marine diesel engines was unveiled when the TCC Institute for Emissions Reduction in Marine Diesel Engines (TIER-MDE) presented an update on potentially game-changing nano-pulse technology. The research team from the University of Southern California – Los Angeles discussed how transient plasma ignition technology could improve combustion and reduce harmful emissions in two-stroke low-revs engines. They are looking towards fuel savings of up to 30 percent.
Finally, the Hong Kong branch of the Nautical Institute conducted a fascinating seminar on the “Challenges of Electronic Navigation” during the afternoon. The Institute also hosted cocktails and snacks following the seminar, bringing the day to a relaxing close, and marking the end of a brilliant China Maritime Week.
According to Neil Baird, the 2012 event marked another outstanding success for China Maritime, notable for the very high quality and range of activities, as well as the impeccable calibre of exhibitors and attendees.
“We are extremely pleased with the outcome for China Maritime which has now, in its fourth edition, matured into a high-quality event and a truly dynamic industry marketplace, staged in the regional heart of the modern shipping and shipbuilding industries,” said Mr Baird. “Baird Events strives to deliver the highest-quality information, activities, presentations and opportunities for networking and direct sales and, in this sense, China Maritime has become our flagship event.
“We are already fielding many booking enquiries for China Maritime 2014 and look forward greatly to delivering the fifth edition of this dynamic event.
Many of the speakers at China Maritime have very kindly provided copies of the speeches and presentations, which are available by just clicking on the links below.
Young Professionals in Shipping Network
Ballast Water Management Symposium
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