Maritime Hotspots Final Report

NML-Serie-37-Maritime-HotspotsThe sea connects all major economic regions in the world. This is described the Maritime Hotspots Final Report. The international context creates opportunities for all, but especially for those who have the skills and entrepreneurship to make the differences in business.

The Dutch maritime cluster is a vibrant ecosystem of 12.000 companies creating jobs for approximately 185.000 people, generating a value added of 34.5 billion euro and having a share of 5 per cent in total Dutch exports in 2011. Within a radius of 200 kilometres, eleven subsectors are active in the Netherlands. In spite of the crisis, the Dutch maritime cluster is a stable sector with strong growth perspectives. Probably the reason for this stability lies in the presence of some specific features of the Dutch maritime sector. The high level of technology, the drive to take full advantage of international co-operation supported by a strategic geographical location and a stable political and economic environment in the Netherlands.

The Dutch maritime cluster cannot exist without international business. It is of the utmost importance to maintain the excellent international relations which were built up during the past five centuries. With this in mind, a new project was launched by the Dutch Maritime Network, called ‘Maritime Hotspots’. Under this umbrella closer relations are to be developed between the Dutch maritime sector and other regions in the world that have a comparable density of maritime business.

For the purpose of this study, a Maritime Hotspot is defined as a geographical region that combines a major sea port function, with the presence of maritime world players in several sectors operating within a radius of 200 to 300 kilometres, and with an international influence on trade and technology.

The Dutch Maritime Network has developed the concept of Maritime Hotspots closely together with the Dutch Top Sector Water. Water is one of the nine economic priority areas of the Dutch government. The Top Sector Water contains three subsectors: maritime, water technology and delta technology.

Within the Top Sector Water, there are a number of teams that deal with a specific area of interest. The team ‘Export and Promotion’ is chaired by former Minister of Foreign Trade Mr Frank Heemskerk. It has developed an internationalisation strategy for the Top Sector Water and strongly supports the maritime hotspot project.

This project is definitively not a stand-alone initiative. Over the past ten years, great efforts have been made to promote the Dutch maritime cluster abroad. Four Holland Marine Houses (in China, Vietnam, Brazil and Russia) and a central representation in Singapore have been set up. Several specific subsidy programs (for example 2g@there) were successfully carried out, and the collective branding campaign ‘Maritime by Holland’ was developed. Besides that, full attention has been given to link export promotion with innovation projects. This way, export, product and technology development could be linked to each other. Annually, about 5 million euro was invested in maritime collective promotion and co-operation. Over the years it became apparent that promotion is only a small proportion of doing international business.
A successful approach stands or falls with the build-up of structural, bilateral relationships. These relations cover all aspects of business: international technology development, exchange of people, fiscal issues, local investments, trade policies, economic diplomacy, export finance, et cetera. The mix of tools depends very much on the specifics of the geographical region.

Mid-2012 the Dutch Maritime Network has asked Bloem Doze Nienhuis to work out four possible Maritime Hotspots, and give basic descriptions of the markets in these regions. In this report the results are presented. The following Maritime Hotspots have been investigated:
• Singapore – pivot point for maritime South East Asia
• Rio de Janeiro / Santos – offshore hub and major port in fast developing Brazil
• St. Petersburg- maritime capital of Russia
• Shanghai – largest port in the world and home to Chinese maritime core businesses.
In a later stage, also other regions can be included, such as Houston (offshore engineering and services Gulf of Mexico), Pearl River Delta (ports, offshore, shipbuilding, inland shipping), Hamburg (finance, ship-owners, technology, ports), Istanbul (ports, shipyards, yachting, ship-owners), the United Arab Emirates or Perth (offshore oil and gas).

In this report the four maritime hotspots regions are described from a bird’s-eye view, including observations from Dutch companies that have business experience in these specific regions.
The data for this report comes from interviews with Dutch major companies, from desk research by Bloem Doze Nienhuis and from the findings during the central conference on November 7th 2012.

We would like to thank the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, the Dutch Maritime Network, the maritime trade associations, and numerous Dutch companies for their great support in gathering all necessary information.

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