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APM spots rising Thailand's maritime tide

APM spots rising maritime tide
8 Feb 2018

Thailand's maritime industry is well-positioned to grow, thanks to a multitude of strategically located ports and investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), through which the country aims to transform the eastern provinces into regional transport hubs, APM says.

In tandem with these developments, the 15th APM (Asia-Pacific Maritime) conference is expected to provide valuable perspectives on the marine and fuel industries from distinguished industry leaders and shipowners such as KD Adamson, futurist and chief executive of Futurenautics; Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst of Bimco; and Capt Vinay Singh, managing director of Anglo-Eastern Ship Management India and director of the Maritime Association of Ship Owners, Ship Managers and Agents.

"With the recent developments in Thailand, we see much potential for the industry to leverage the event to gain knowledge in aid of their business strategies, navigate new frontiers and discover new business opportunities," said Yeow Hui Leng, senior project director of APM.

In Thailand, priority sectors like ports, inland waterways and shipbuilding have developed rapidly. In the face of competition from increasingly automated ports in the region, modernising maritime infrastructure remains key for the country.

Discussions regarding the Kra Canal have also resurfaced.

"One very interesting vision and possible game-changer is the Kra Canal project, which would connect the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea across southern Thailand," said Capt Michael Elwert, group chief executive of Elektrans Group. "Such a shipping route will slash days from seaborne transport in the region, providing an alternative route to the Strait of Malacca, as well as shorten transit for shipments of oil to Japan and China by 1,200km.

"The plan would provide 135km of shipping canals across Thailand at a cost of US$30 billion (947 billion baht). It is one of the most ambitious and transformational infrastructure megaprojects in Asia, and will support the vision of China's One Belt, One Road initiative."

The APM conference will take place March 14-16 in Singapore.

The conference will include over 40 speakers and six thematic networking sessions: IMO 2020 vision; preparing for the new global sulphur cap; best in class marine equipment and fitting; powering the way forward -- next generation marine power; competing on a global playing field in terms of shipbuilding; the future of maritime shipping -- transforming shipping industry with ICT and digitalisation; and lubricant, coating and corrosion.

The event will kick off with the inaugural APM Leaders' Forum, followed by a spotlight on the vessel market in March 15, which will look at the outlook for the tanker market, shifting trends in maritime finance and Vietnam's growing maritime industry.