The scale of emerging maritime market opportunities, following Iran’s re-engagement with global trade partners, was brought into sharp focus at IRANIMEX, powered by Europort, which took place on Kish Island, Iran, between 12-14th December 2017.
The three-day event attracted 283 exhibitors, including international participants from Belgium, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Turkey, The Netherlands and the UAE, as well as local Iran-based companies. Products and services were showcased to 7,154 visitors, mostly from Iran and surrounding regions. IRANIMEX thereby consolidated its position as the largest maritime event within the Middle East region, strengthening its claim to be the ‘go-to’ event for those actively monitoring, and planning to take advantage of, the significant investments planned by Iranian interests in new ships, port facilities and related technology over the coming years.
Many visitors were high-level decision makers, with 16% being either chief executives, vice presidents or board members, while a further 12% were senior managers. Getting information about products and services was the biggest single reason given for attending IRANIMEX2017, followed by establishing new contacts and finding new suppliers. Exhibition visitors came from a broad spectrum of the maritime industry, including shipowners, operators and managers, port management, equipment suppliers and governmental bodies. Port development was cited as being the main product group of interest, followed by maritime and offshore technology and services and shipbuilding, repair and conversion.
Feedback from exhibitors was uniformly positive. The Japanese-Dutch joint venture, JRC-Alphatron Marine, which specialises in navigation and communication systems for merchant vessels, participated for the second year in succession. Jeroen Kortsmit, Global Marketing and Business Development Manager, Alphatron Marine, said: “We have in fact already successfully started doing business in Iran, due to our presence at IRANIMEX in 2016, and were able to build on that platform this year. It is not always easy to meet with decision makers from shipowners at exhibitions, but we have certainly been able to do so here.”
First time participant Royal IHC is committed to developing the Iranian market, having signed a cooperation deal with Iran Ship Building and Offshore Industries Complex Co. (ISOICO) to share engineering knowledge and technology in 2016. Murat Katirci, Area Sales Manager, Royal IHC, says: “Iran is an extremely promising market for us, making our presence at IRANIMEX a logical step. In fact, given the nature of the event we simply have to be here!”
Iranian companies and organisations also gained from being part of IRANIMEX. As Yosra Hovelzavi, Managing Director, Atlas Marine & Offshore services, points out: “Our company is from Tehran, but it is much easier to meet Tehran-based shipowners and offshore vessel managers during IRANIMEX in Kish Island. In Tehran everybody is so busy, but here people set aside time for meetings which makes IRANIMEX a very fruitful event.”
Alongside the exhibition, IRANIMEX hosted the 19th annual marine industry conference, MICIRAN, which was organised with the cooperation of Iranian universities and other organisations. This provided a forum for the discussion of recent and future developments in marine engineering and naval architecture.
Further enhancements to the conference programme are being planned, with IRANIMEX’s Europort connections proving valuable. The Central Dredging Association (CEDA) has a longstanding tradition of organising its flagship conference, the so-called CEDA Dredging Days, in concert with the Europort exhibition, which is held in Rotterdam on a biennial basis.
Johan Pennekamp, CEDA Vice President, says: “During Europort last November, the association was asked if it would consider contributing to the conference at IRANIMEX2018. This was of mutual interest and so a delegation from the CEDA Board investigated this possibility during IRANIMEX2017, where the association was able to present itself to the Iranian maritime community at MICIRAN and raise the possibility of a contribution this year.”
Over the coming months further discussions between CEDA, IRANIMEX, Europort, and members of the Iranian maritime community are planned, and it is hoped that the green light for a CEDA-sponsored Conference at IRANIMEX2018 will be given soon.
Preparations for IRANIMEX2018 are gathering momentum already. The event will again be staged in the convenient location of Kish Island, close to the key gateway port of Bandar Abbas, in a free zone area which enables visa-free travel to overseas visitors, between November 20-22th 2018.
For more information please contact the Europort project team or visit www.iranimex.ir.