|China Maritime 2008 - a quality-focused success at the heart of the China boom|
In front of an enthusiastic crowd and media, China Maritime 2008 opened its doors on March 12 for Hong Kong’s only truly international shipping exhibition at the heart of the China maritime boom.
The event ran for three days and featured a very high calibre of exhibitors and visitors with an overall emphasis on quality. With more than 130 stands, exhibitors all expressed their satisfaction with the level of enquiries and opportunities to network with industry colleagues.
Among the highlights of the exhibition was the launch of the new Iridium OpenPort enhanced-bandwidth marine communication system by US-based Iridium Satellite.
At the exhibition’s opening, organiser Neil Baird welcomed the VIPs and guests and stated how excited he was to be back in Hong Kong (since the inaugural China Maritime 2006). “Hong Kong is an exciting entry point to China and, with the support of the Hong Kong Government, we are looking to build on our last exhibition and are looking forward to helping to build a truly international Hong Kong maritime week over the years to come,” he said.
Ms. Eva Cheng JP, Hong Kong Secretary for Transport and Housing, also welcomed the VIPs and guests, stating: “Events like China Maritime 2008 demonstrate a strong vote of confidence in Hong Kong’s maritime industry and its continuing prosperity. “Over the past seven years, China’s shipbuilding industry has had some 30 percent growth per annum, making it the second largest shipbuilding country in the world, today. “With over 130 stands and some 3,000 expected visitors from all parts of the world, Hong Kong welcomes all of you and wishes you a very successful exhibition.”
After “dotting the eyes” of the Lion, and an exciting Lion dance, the ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the exhibition was carried out by Ms. Cheng and Mr. Peter Cremers, Chairman of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association and Chief Executive Officer of the Anglo-Eastern Group.
Other distinguished guests included Mr. Frank Tsao, Chairman of the IMC Group, Mr. David CC Koo, previous Chairman of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association and Chairman of the Valles Steamship Group, and Mr. Ken Lo, Managing Director of Cheoy Lee Shipyards.
Mr. Till Siegmann, Vice President, Marine, Commercial Craft, representing major sponsor ZF Marine Group, delivered a brief welcoming address to guests and participants at the exhibition cocktail reception.
Commenting at the successful conclusion to the exhibition, Mr. Baird noted that the Hong Kong maritime community is one of the most enthusiastic, welcoming and dynamic in the world. “It is such a pleasure to take part in the local industry. Everybody knows everybody, from industry figures to government officials, and all of them are personable, high-quality individuals, committed to the advancement of business,” he said.
The most successful China Maritime exhibition so far ran from March 12 till March 14, 2008, with exhibitors and visitors alike looking ahead to China Maritime 2010.
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