Under the banner of ‘new horizons’ the Marinas 2011 International Conference and Exhibition was opened Monday 20 June by the Victorian Government Minister for Ports Hon Dr Denis Hapthine MP.
The Minster welcomed delegates to Melbourne and indicated there are 300,000 recreational boat license holders in Victoria. He emphasized the Victorian Government is very supportive of the recreational marine and marina sector and he sought private sector participation in the development of marine and marina infrastructure in Victoria.
The key note address at Marinas 2011 was delivered by Joe Ueberroth, the President of Bellwether Financial Group Inc. He used the analogy of ‘choppy waters’ to describe the investment environment in the USA and beyond. In this environment he indicated investment should focus on quality over growth.
He spoke of the need to consider the following four factors when investing in a global sense. Firstly, demographics and specifically the aging population and the need to factor this in to the investment decision. The second factor he referred to was government deficits. While he demonstrated the problem is far greater in countries such as Greece, the USA and Japan, even in Australia the government is spending more than it is earning.
The third key consideration he mentioned was inflation. He made the point that inflation is here to stay and that an asset built today will be more expensive to build tomorrow. The final factor he mentioned was technology and how it is changing how we do business and how businesses interact with their customers. He pointed out for example there are 5.2 billion cell phone subscribers across the world and consumers now have far greater access to information on businesses and the business environment.
Joe Ueberroth was cautiously bullish on the future of the marine sector. While the cycle for new boat purchases is depressed he sees the aging of the population as a long term positive for the sector. Constraints on supply of new marinas will continue to assist those with existing assets. He highlighted the need for new marina investments to focus on location, quality and capable people to be successful going forward.
The President of MIAA Andrew Chapman said the opening of Marinas 2011 has been very successful. 'Delegates and exhibitors have been expressing their satisfaction with the conference program and with having 45 exhibitors to discuss business with. Allowing for the number of day delegates the MIAA expect there will be 300 participants in Marinas 2011 by its close on Wednesday 22 June.'
Further information: Colin Bransgrove, MIAA Executive Officer, Mobile 0434 018 010.