AIMEX, the Australian International Marine Export Group, is to host a Western Australia marine industry capability briefing during the Perth International Boat Show this week. The invitation-only event runs from 17:45-19:45 on Friday, September 22.

MaryAnn Edwards, CEO of AIMEX and Superyacht Australia, says: “Hosting our event in conjunction with the Perth International Boat Show makes sense, we are always conscious that we need to maximise our members’ time and hosting a marine capability briefing in WA, during a boat show like this, allows everyone the opportunity to attend. There is significant marine industry capability in WA and we need to ensure the rest of Australia and global players are aware of this.”

The event, which will be opened by Tourism Minister Paul Papalia, offers a platform for the industry to gain up-to-date information and acquire insights on how to maximise the potential of the recreational, superyacht and commercial defence sectors in Western Australia. According to a recent economic impact study, the superyacht sector in Western Australia generates an annual GSP of A$82.6m.

Edwards commented: “The WA government has read the superyacht industry economic impact study and understands the value of the jobs and economic benefits to Western Australia. The marine industry in WA has an extraordinary potential – it just needs to be unlocked with the right economic and regulatory conditions.”

Australia has a high-quality superyacht manufacturing sector, primarily based in Henderson, a suburb of Perth in Western Australia. It is the home of two main shipyards – Echo Yachts & Silver Yachts – and a number of leading marine equipment manufacturers.

“Currently 100% of the Australian superyacht construction is based in Perth; however only 2% of vessel maintenance takes place there,” says Edwards. “A big opportunity exists if the issues regarding haul-out costs and use of sheds within the Australian Marine Complex can be addressed.”

Chris Blackwell, chair of Marine WA, says that government initiatives to improve infrastructure and facility availability and cost structures will further enhance WA businesses' competitiveness both domestically and internationally. "This is essential to help level the playing field for Australian firms competing against foreign companies that are offered significant incentives, support and market protection mechanisms by their own governments," he says.

"One only needs to look as far as the USA’s ‘John’s Act’ that blocks foreign builders from selling into the USA or the many incentives the Middle East and certain SE Asian countries provide for companies to set up shop in their countries to see why our government must do more to both retain and grow Australian shipbuilding capability and market share.”

The 1st Perth International Boat Show runs from September 22-25, 2017 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wetern Australia. The event is being organised in association with the Boating Industry Association of Western Australia and Club Marine.