The March 5 trade mission to the United Arab Emirates was funded by the Victorian Government. Seven leading Victorian companies attended led by the peak industry body, the Australian International Marine Export Group (AIMEX).
AIMEX Chief Executive Mary Anne Edwards said:
“The mission was a great success with most companies impressed by the interest and opportunity to make sales in the region. The trade mission included a tour of key marine projects in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. The size of the projects in progress throughout the UAE and the constant statements from developers saying that ‘money was no object’ amazed the Victorian companies. The group was impressed by the range and scope of these marine developments and the opportunities they presented for Victoria in all industry sectors”.
“Dubai marine executives commented there is a severe shortage of marina facilities in Dubai and whilst this offers opportunities for marina development from Australia, it is curtailing sales of boats as there is no where to put them.”
John Spragg, owner of Australian company Bellingham Marine, has already built a number of marinas in the UAE including the Festival City Marina visited by the group.
Ms Edwards said the mission proved fruitful, all participants had either received orders, appointed agents or gained key prospects.
“A key success factor in this mission was the opportunity for our members to see so many UAE projects first hand and thus be well informed for prospective buyers at the Dubai International Boat Show from March 11 –15.”
Victorian marine companies participating included Bellingham Marine, Gravity International Pty Ltd, Kinetic Technology International Pty Ltd, Multipanel, Ronstan International, Sealite Pty Ltd and Seahawk Australia Pty Ltd.
Ronstan International’s Peter Dowdney said he had visited Dubai with no real expectation of making sales but had been overwhelmed with opportunities and niche markets for the the company, a leading sailboat deck hardware manufacturer and distributor.
Ms Edwards paid tribute to the support of the Austrade Commercial Consul in Dubai James Wyndham and Victorian Government representatives Kassem Younes and Peter Deakin.
She said Victorian businesses felt the support of the Victorian Government was instrumental in them coming to the UAE and exhibiting at the Dubai International Boat Show and this proactive support would bear dividends for Victoria with increased marine exports and manufacturing capacity.
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