Competitiveness of the UK Maritime Industry
Maritime industry plays a vital role in the UK economy. It contributes about £19 billion per year and provides a job to over 365,000 people. But there is wealth of new opportunities in export to the emerging economies and countries such as China, South Korea and Brazil, to mention only a few. However, the UK companies are faced with new challenges in their traditional markets including the European Union which clearly reveals a 30 percent decline in export since 2007.
In order to ensure that the maritime industry remains competitive and continues to contribute to the UK economy, the Government has launched the UK Marine Export Strategy which was developed in collaboration with the industry and stakeholder organisations.
The Goal of the UK Marine Export Strategy
The UK Marine Export Strategy that is led by the UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) outlines the future vision of the UK maritime industry and a long-term plan on how to increase its competitiveness. But it also seeks to find a way to take advantage of new export opportunities while retaining the leading role in the traditional markets. In order to increase the number of export companies for additional 100,000 and double the UK export to £1 trillion by year 2020, the UKTI decided to increase the number of companies it helps to 50,000 by year 2014-15.
Most Prospective Sectors of the UK Marine Industry
According to the UK Marine Export Strategy, the most prospective sectors in the British marine industry are:
Offshore oil & gas industry. The UK companies that provide offshore oil and gas installation services such as drilling units can expect new opportunities for growth as there is an increased demand for these services in countries such as France, Norway, Brazil and the United States.
Offshore wind industry. Investments in renewable energy have increased dramatically in the recent years and are expected to increase further in the near future. According to the IEA, the current global capacity of 6 GW will increase up to 118 GW by year 2020, while the biggest growth is expected in the United States, Canada, China, Korea, India and Taiwan.
Leisure boats and equipment. This sector is traditionally strong in major European countries which are expected to remain the key markets in the future as well. However, there are also indications of growth potentials outside Europe, most notably Russia, India, Brazil, Turkey, China, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
Naval defence. In the last decade, virtually all countries started or continued projects to increase their naval capabilities. This opened new opportunities for the British ship programmes as well as consultancy and equipment companies.