With the 2017 Australian Superyacht & Marine Export (ASMEX) conference opening today, followed by the 29th Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show (SCIBS), Australia is taking centre stage in the global yacht market this week.

As in previous years, the two-day ASMEX conference will address key issues not only for the host nation, but the whole of Asia-Pacific and its links with other areas such as the Middle East.

MaryAnne Edwards, CEO of industry bodies AIMEX and Superyacht Australia, will set the scene for the conference in her opening presentation today. There are concerns in Australia over the still uncompleted initiative to implement charter arrangements for foreign-flagged yachts, access to the Great Barrier Reef and its bleaching, and other concerns such as infrastructure and crewing.

The Conference on Day 1 has a particularly strong international emphasis with presentations on how to do business in Asia Pacific, the Middle East and the US.

Australia’s place in the global economy and how that is changing will also be covered, along with supply chain issues and the distribution of goods and how this might change in the future.

Speakers for these sessions include Kevin Merrigan, CEO of Northrop & Johnson; Erwin Bamps, CEO of Gulf Craft; Joshua Lee, founder and managing director of Lee Marine in Thailand; and Greg Haines, international sales & marketing manager at Maritimo Yachts.

Jouko Huju, president of the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA), will look at issues facing the global marine sector.

Day 2 continues the international theme with updates on the New Zealand and Canadian yachting industries. Carla Demaria, president of Monte Carlo Yachts and Italian marine industry association UCINA, will provide insights into the European market in a presentation entitled ‘How to adapt and embrace change, staying close to the customer‘.

The European angle will also be addressed by Farouk Nefzi, marketing and brand director of Feadship.

As for the 29th edition of SCIBS, a wide range of domestic and foreign-built craft will be presented with 300 exhibitors and some 120 boats for visitors to view. SCIBS sales and exhibition manager Dominic O’Brien says: “The wide range of sports cruisers on show at SCIBS 2017, both on water and in The Boatyard, will offer something for everyone.”