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ITALIAN SHIP-BUILDERS READY TO LAND AT SEATRADE 2009
There are about 60 million boat-owners in the United States, making it undeniably the prime market in the yachting sector, in terms of both the number of craft constructed and the turnover generated, now estimated to be about 38 billion dollars. Italian companies are world leaders in the mega-yacht industry, and can offer the quality, expertise and productive capacity to satisfy American demand. They are well prepared to promote the image and sale of their products and services at the next Seatrade Fair, the world’s number one event for oceangoing yachts. The exhibition will take place at the Miami Convention Centre, from March 17th-19th 2009. Italy will be in attendance thanks to a joint participation organized by the Italian Trade Commission.
Italian exhibitors at Seatrade 2009 will include industrial concerns (boat-yards, and manufacturers of components, equipment and fittings), service companies (marine engineering and design firms) and tourism and transportation operators (cruise companies and port authorities). The participation of a large number of Italian port authorities at the 2009 event has a particular strategic importance. For the indications are that in 2008 the Italian port of Civitavecchia, near Rome, overtook Barcelona in terms of the number of seafaring yachts using the harbour. It is estimated to have hosted 1.8 million craft, more than any other European port. In the industrial field, on the other hand, an important participant will be Fincantieri, one of the top groups worldwide for the design and construction of military and merchant vessels, specializing in particular in the design of extremely sophisticated ships with a high technological content.
The members of the Italian Trade Commission’s delegation due to participate in Seatrade 2009 represent a diversity of concerns. However, they are all connected, directly or indirectly, to a sector which in 2007 (the latest figures available) achieved a turnover of 3.8 billion Euros, up 10.3% on the previous year. If one also takes the ancillary industries into account, then the marine sector can be said to have contributed 5.2 billion Euros to the Italian G.D.P: up 13% on the previous year.
The sector continues to be the uncontested leader in the construction of mega-yachts, with 427 under construction out of a total of 916 worldwide, giving Italy a market share of around 47%. In fact, Italy’s market quota has been consistently on the rise since 2000, when the percentage of yachts built was the equivalent of 31% of the world total. “Our sector is young, and it’s healthy”, Anton Francesco Albertoni, the President of UCINA (the union of Italian marine engineers and yacht-builders) was recently quoted as saying. The Italian ship-building industry also leads in the construction of cruise ships and large ferries, claiming a 40% share of the world market.