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Glowing outlook for China marine business, says CIBS

by CIBS Media on 19 Apr 2009
14th China International Boat Show. In-water show at the Shanghai Yacht Club. Guy Nowell
Asia’s largest boat function, China (Shanghai) International Boat Show (CIBS), launched its 14th annual event from April 16th-19th, set to bring together nearly 380 overseas and domestic exhibitors in Shanghai with more than one hundred glamorous world renowned boats and yachts on display.

Apart from the major site of Shanghai Exhibition Center, this year, the first-ever on-water display area will debut alongside the Huangpu River in partnership with Shanghai Yacht Club. Covering over 30,000sqm of exhibition space, this year’s event showcases splendid arrays of boats while also present cutting-edge trends in the boating industry.

The financial crisis sweeping the global market has led severe decline of consumption, which hinders development of various industries. Seeing the stable performance of China during the economic recession, as has been observed in other industries, many foreign companies declare this unique economy may very well be a shelter for them to offset losses in the overseas market. Through this year’s CIBS, the question whether China will be the driving force for global yacht industry might get its answers.

Even under such bad economic climate, this year’s CIBS still shows great promise for success. According to Ms. Helena Gao, Senior Project Director of CMPSino Expo, many overseas manufacturers act even more active than before, seeing the potential in China market. 'They are considering further expanding their businesses here in order to compensate for their losses abroad.' She says, 'Therefore, the upcoming event will still have an excellent demonstration of overseas yachts.'

CIBS2009 will again successfully round up the boating industry’s major players, including three national pavilions from Italy, France and Australia. The Yacht Industry Association of Japan will also make its debut at CIBS. IBS, the leading international boat service group authorized dealership by ten international yacht brands, will mark its official entrance into China market by making its presence in the event as well. According to their plan, half of the ten brands will be introduced into China in recent years.

The British renowned luxury yacht brand, Princess, will bring forth its maiden display after several years’ evaluation and France’s Jeanneau will attend the event by presence of its headquarter representatives for the first time instead of local dealers in the past, in order to observe and interpret the China market more directly.

With regards to the increasing numbers of domestic exhibitors, Helena Gao adds, 'Domestic manufacturers that have always been dependent upon foreign orders are now seeing increasing opportunities in their home market. Compared with overseas companies, they actually own the advantage of a better interpretation of local demands.'

The important role CIBS is playing in the domestic yacht industry is another reason for exhibitors to gradually enhance their involvements these years.

In addition to the collection of international yachts, leading Chinese brands will continue to be featured on this year’s show, including Changzhou F.R.P., Zhuhai Sunbird, Yihong, Ningbo Kingbay, Xiamen Feipeng, Wuxi Dongfang. Foreign invested companies such as Aurora yachts, Zhoushan Alpha and Yantai Raffles will all be demonstrating their latest developments.

Latest statistics by the organizer indicate that about 45% of the exhibitors are manufacturers of boats and luxury yachts, about 30% will represent equipment and accessories, while 25% belongs to the marina, club, design and other service sectors.

Compared to the past two editions, exhibitors in the first two categories do not see much change whilst the service-oriented participants more than doubled. Mr. Yang Xinfa, chairman of the China Boat Industry & Trade Association, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the Shanghai Association of Shipbuilding Industry, says, 'As service-related exhibitors are growing, we are able to see the steady development of domestic yacht industry in the past years. The previous obstacle of the lack of supporting facilities has been gradually removed.'

Mr. Andrea Zanella, head of IBS China, says, 'We have been observing the China market for a long time and after an extensive evaluation, we feel that China’s boating infrastructure and fundamentals as well as the peoples’ understanding and enthusiasm for boating have all met with our satisfaction.

This is why we choose this timing to step into the China market.' Ms. Zhou Juan, the General Manager of Shanghai Double Happiness, has a similar outlook of the China market. 'We believe the timing is right because the domestic yacht docks and marina are being developed rapidly. This is the yacht industry’s most important hardware requirement.' she comments.

The service section of the Marinas and clubs will be expanded at this year’s CIBS. Marina exhibitors including Shanghai Yacht, Sanya Hongzhou, Xiamen Xiangshan, Taihu Shanshui, Qingdao International, Shanghai Zhongchuan, along with club attendees such as Shanghai Saimeng, Shanghai Boat & Yacht Club, Shanghai Fisherman and Xiamen Ironrock will together present interesting demonstrations and events on site for visitors experiences.

'China’s boating manufacturing market has seen most dramatic growth in the past 5 years. The exports recorded USD 180 million in 2006, USD 220 million in 2007 and topped USD 260 million in 2008. This places China amongst the top ten markets for boat manufacturing in the world and listed the sixth in super-yacht sector.' Mr. Yang Xinfa says, 'China’s boating market is becoming more mature and more regulated, especially with the implementation of Regulation on Safety of Yachts early this year. Even though the financial crisis has made a substantial impact on the market, it will allow China’s boating industry to reap opportunities. I truly believe China will bring a very strong performance to the global boating market.'


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