Strong ME presence at Posidonia.
Nearly 30 companies from seven Middle East countries are converging in Athens in June to participate at Posidonia 2008, the 21st edition of the worldCOs biggest and most international maritime trade event.
The UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Syria and Tunisia are all sending strong delegations to the Athens event focusing on ship building and repair, engineering and port services in the regionCOs bid to highlight its growing industry potential. Greece controls the worldCOs biggest newbuilding orderbook, currently standing at 1,054 vessels of some 75 million dwt. Greek shipowners have already committed some $50 billion in various fleet renewal projects, according to Nana Michael, managing director, Posidonia Exhibitions SA, the exhibitionCOs organisers. With over $50 billion in committed investments for the renewal of the Greek-owned fleet announced last year, double the amount invested in 2006, and two-digit annual sustainable growth rates in a region that holds almost half of the worldCOs population, the global ship building industry, equipment suppliers, other vertical sectors and the second-hand ship market are all turning their radars to the biennial event slated to be the biggest in its 40-year-old history. Dubai Maritime City (DMC), Hamriyah Free Zone Authority, Drydocks World Dubai, Sharjah Ports, Nico International and Gmmostech and Grandweld, parts of the GMMOS Group of companies, are just some of the UAECOs major shipping companies participating at the five-day event which begins on June 2 at the Hellenic Exhibition Centre (HEC). C[pounds sterling]As the worldCOs first purpose-built maritime centre, Dubai Maritime City sees Posidonia as the most significant maritime event on a global scale, and our participation for this year has significantly increased in terms of exhibiting size, activities, and content,C[yen] said Nawfal Al Jourani, chief marketing officer. Al Jourani said Posidonia was seen as an ideal platform that would allow the DMC to share its vision and its unique offering to the worldCOs key maritime players as they gathered in Posidonia. The potential opening of GreeceCOs biggest ports to foreign investors has also enticed the interest of major Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Arab funds competing for a stake and management access of PiraeusCO lucrative container transshipment hub strategically situated at the crossroads of three continents. According to Neil Corbasson, vice president business development of Jebel Ali - based GMMOS Group, which will be represented at Posidonia 2008 through its ship building and repair arms Grandweld and Gmmostech, the Middle EastCOs shipbuilding sector stands to gain a lot from an apparent order backlog in AsiaCOs major shipping yards. C[pounds sterling]Last year the order books at Chinese shipyards surpassed those of Japan, inching closer to South KoreaCOs output and this has put a strain on ChinaCOs ability to cope with demand. The Middle East and the GCC in particular offer a good alternative with excellent ship building and repair infrastructure facilities and the sector is set to gain much from the regionCOs bid to diversify economies away from hydrocarbons,C[yen] Corbasson noted. Posidonia 2008 is sponsored by the Ministry of Mercantile Marine, The Aegean and Island Policy, the Municipality of Piraeus, the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, the Union of Greek Shipowners, the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee, the Mediterranean Cargo Vessels Shipowners Union, the Association of Greek Coastal Shipping Companies and the Association of Greek Passenger Shipping Companies.
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