Today was the last day of the Navalshore 2010 maritime and offshore industry conference and fair in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Since Wednesday, shipbuilding and maritime equipment industry businessmen from the four corners of the globe have been demonstrating and negotiating their products. At the same time and as an integral part of the event, various conferences have taken place, all related to shipping, shipbuilding and the offshore (O&G) industries.
The conferences comprised everything from market forecasts, supply chain demands and expectations, market regulation and business financing, including a very enlightening exposition on the sustainability of the Brazilian shipbuilding industry by Professor Floriano Pires – Ocean Engineering Program of COPPE, Rio de Janeiro Federal University (UFRJ) and a presentation on the Brazilian Shipbuilding market from the point of view of the Korean Industry by Mr. Kim Doo Young, Director-General of KOTRA (Korea Trade and Investment Promotion Agency) in Brazil.
According to the organizers the event was a paramount success and I have to admit the along my wandering through the event I was witness to quite a few business negotiations, some of them quite respectable in terms of contract value. Another important factor was the presence of most the major shipbuilding nations and companies or their representatives at the Navalshore event, namely the Koreans, Chinese and Japanese, along with Finns, Italians, Norwegians, Germans, Belgians, Dutch and Americans. Major shipbuilding and ship equipment suppliers from all over the globe were also present along with local equipment manufacturers looking to display their competitive products and also looking to form partnerships with the acknowledged market leaders.
There is no doubt after this event, that most international player in the shipbuilding, offshore and maritime equipment manufacturing industries are seriously flocking to Brazil. Obviously this is directly related to the expected long term growth in oil and gas E&P in Brazil, which is the fuel behind the revival of the Brazilian shipbuilding industry but it is also clear that these same players believe the Brazilian market will grow sustainably, although still lacking the superior quality and consistency delivered by the top international companies.
The market seems to be so promising that the international market leaders are willing and even keen to share technology and help raise the local ship and equipment production standards, in some cases, especially among the Norwegians, this comes through with a passion, something not all that common in this type of industry. They actually want to help Brazil join the league of modern industrialized nations, as major player.
The Brazilian shipbuilding and maritime equipment industry is striving to better their game in order to be competitive. Industry organizations and syndicates such as SINAVAL and ABIMAQ are playing an important role in this development and consequent rising of production and product standards, not to mention fighting and even pleading with government authorities to create growth enhancing mechanisms for these industries. Theirs is a lonely fight, luckily one they appear to be winning.
The biggest challenge these industries face in Brazil is still lack of enough qualified technicians and engineers to meet the extreme and urgent industry demand. This is where the amount of growth potential is hedged. Only time will tell, if government and industry efforts towards manpower training will be enough to meet the needs imposed by the massive industry growth.
Photo C. Paschoa