“We wish to enhance the strengths of our merchant and naval shipbuilding in cooperation with international companies. And SMM India 2011 will be another important step towards strengthening India’s market position in international shipbuilding,” says A.P.V.N. Sarma, Chairman of the Advisory Board of SMM India 2011. As a former State Secretary at the Indian Government’s Ministry of Shipping, he has in-depth knowledge of the maritime industries in South-East Asia.
SMM as a brand enjoys a strong reputation in India, which is the second largest growth engine of the global economy. “We look forward to the next SMM India with great pleasure and excitement,” says Mr. Sarma. The maritime industry on the Indian sub-continent still has some months to prepare for this outstanding event. SMM India 2011 will be held at the Bombay Exhibition Centre (BEC) in Mumbai from 7 to 9 April 2011. It is managed by the SMM organiser Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH (HMC) with its Indian partner Inter Ads Exhibitions Pvt. Ltd., India’s biggest trade fair organiser, which has outstanding knowledge both of the market and of the Indian shipbuilding industry.
The Indian maritime industry is well aware of the appeal and dynamic potential of SMM India as an offshoot of SMM in Hamburg, the world’s leading shipbuilding fair. Thus the organisers got into discussion at an early stage with Indian’s major shipyards such as Pipavav, Cochin, Bharati, Hindustan Shipyard Limited, ABG, and Tebma Shipyards. The first SMM India in November 2009 enabled the decision makers of the Indian shipbuilding industry and the Indian Navy to make valuable new contacts and to conclude cooperation agreements with leading international companies of the maritime industry from 30 countries.
The inaugural SMM India, held in November 2009, enjoyed the support of the Indian Government and major business organisations of the country, in particular the Government of India Ministry of Shipping. This support continues in 2011, with valuable impetus given by a series of major Indian business associations such as the Indian National Shipowners’ Association (INSA), the Maritime Association of Shipowners Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA), the Bombay Customs House Agents’ Association (BCHAA) and the Mumbai And Nhava-Sheva Ship-Agents Association (MANSA). New supporters of SMM India 2011 are the Shipyards Association of India, the Association of Multimodal Transport Operators of India (AMTOI), the Institute of Marine Engineers (India) (IMARE), and the Indian Merchants’ Chamber (the Premier Chamber of Trade, Commerce and Industry).
SMM India 2011 also has support from Germany. Thus the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) and the Shipbuilding and Ocean Engineering Association (VSM) are engaged in a German national pavilion. The support from BMWi ensures economical, efficient presence under the strong branding “Made in Germany”.
Other countries will also have national pavilions to highlight their maritime industries at SMM India 2011.
The German Engineering Federation together with HMC is also currently preparing a business trip to Southern India, which is to take place immediately before SMM India. That is warmly welcomed by participants in the previous trip associated with the first SMM India 2009, which met with a very positive response.
German companies are meeting with very favourable reactions in the Indian market in any case – not only in the maritime industries. As noted by Vishnu Prakash, the spokesman of the Indian Foreign Ministry, bilateral trading volume grew 26% this year despite the economic crisis, achieving a total of EUR 13 billion in the period from 2009-2010. “We are on the right track to meet the target of EUR 20 billion in bilateral trading in 2012,” he added.
The great international interest in SMM India comes from India’s rapid economic growth in recent years and thus also its growing importance as a market and a producer. Alongside China, the Indian sub-continent is the driving force of the global economy. In the fourth quarter 2010, India’s economic analysts expect growth of 8.6% year-on-year. And Indian shipbuilding is experiencing similar acceleration. “The Indian shipbuilding industry has become a major economic and
technological factor in recent years,” said Mr. Sarma. And that applies at the international level, too. India is now in sixth place among the world’s leading shipbuilding nations. As the Londonbased analysts of Clarkson Research Services Ltd. indicate, Indian shipyards had a total of 202 contracts for newbuildings (2 million CGT) in their books at the beginning of October 2010, mostly bulkers and general cargo freighters. At present that is only the equivalent of a global market share of 1.4%, but that is just the current status. India has great plans, intending to increase her share of
global shipbuilding to 5% by 2017. The planned capital expenditure is correspondingly high. As early as mid-2007, the Indian Ministry of Shipping proposed subsidising the domestic shipbuilding industry with 20% over a 10 year period. According to a study by Parag Parikh Financial Advisory Services Ltd. (PPFAS), based in India, some 370 rupees (EUR 6 billion) are to be pumped into the maritime sector by 2012. By 2017, the figure is to be as high as INR 2.2 trillion (EUR 35.7 billion).
An ambitious goal, to which the placement of state orders with domestic shipyards is to contribute significantly. That is in line with the news published on domain-b.com in early November that the Indian shipyard Pipavav has become the first private-sector shipbuilding company to be awarded a licence for building naval ships.
The most important event in the supporting programme at SMM India 2011 is the accompanying international conference. The general subject is “India’s shipbuilding and repair industry for the 21st century”. Leading speakers from companies and institutions of the Indian maritime sector will present the current status and expected developments in steel and shipbuilding, ship repairs and environmental protection, financing and infrastructure. With this agenda, the Chairman of the SMM India Advisory Board Mr. A.P.V.N. Sarma expects “fruitful exchange of experience, in view of the
pressing economic and ecological issues of the maritime industry.”