Norwegian Ship Industry to Tour Vietnam

In spite of fierce competition, Norwegian suppliers, manufacturers and ship-owners have shown strong interest in the Vietnamese market this year. In 2006, at least two Norwegian companies have established local representative offices in Vietnam, and many others are operating through local agents. As a result, a one-week promotional and study tour to Vietnamese yards and influential ship-owners has been arranged, jointly organized by Norwegian Maritime Exporters (NME) and Innovation Norway Hanoi.
     Set to take place on November 3-11, the tour will include visits to major yards and to the facilities of the dominating shipbuilding corporation Vinashin, as well as to the large domestic ship-owner Vinaline. The group will also visit the Maritime Vietnam Exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City. At this point, 12 Norwegian companies have signed up for the study tour with 17 participants.

Charming the Local Market
Vietnam is known for its skilled maritime labor force with low and very competitive labor costs. Consequently, the country is a very attractive place for Norwegian companies to consider local production of ship equipment – both for the Vietnamese market and globally. The 12 visiting Norwegian companies will be offered opportunities during the tour to investigate the possibilities of setting up a local production, with visits to relevant industrial parks. The companies will be able to present their products and services to key players on the Vietnamese market – both at management level and among the technical staff.

Closer Co-operation in the Future
One of the major events scheduled to take place during the tour is the signing of a so-called Letter of Intent between Vinashin and NME. The parties are currently considering entering into a closer co-operation to support Norwegian companies in entering the Vietnamese maritime market, and to identify possible Vietnamese partners and ship yards.
     “We assume the Norwegian participating companies should have a good chance to identify concrete business opportunities during the study tour,” announces Innovation Norway Hanoi in an official statement concerning the upcoming tour.
     Vietnam aims to be the 4th largest shipbuilding nation within 2015 and has recently committed 750 million USD in development projects in order to achieve this goal. VINASHIN recently was awarded big contracts from CRAIG, RAY shipping, Briese Schiffahrts, Damen Shipyards, Japanese and other major Vietnamese ship-owners. Current order books total around 155 ships. By 2010, the industry estimates an annual turnover of 1 billion USD and a production of 3 million tons of various ships. 60% of the ships equipment is expected to be supplied through local production.

To read more about Norway’s international maritime activities – including those in Vietnam – go to www.maritime-exporters.no

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