In a significant move for the Hong Kong leisure marine sector, the newly established Hong Kong Boating Industry Association (HKBIA) is now fully up and running. It has taken four months of setting-up work and to date the new body has a 35-strong membership.

Following a recent AGM, acting chair Simon Boyde gave an update on the legal standing of the HKBIA, and acting treasurer Louise Connolly reported on the financial position and the number of members.

A strong turnout of company representatives then elected a chair, deputy chair, treasurer and secretary, along with eight sector representatives.

The Council positions are:

  • Chair: Simon Boyde, Storm Force Marine
  • Deputy Chair: Lawrence Chow, China Pacific Marine
  • Treasurer: Louise Connolly, Storm Force Marine
  • Meeting Secretary: Vincent Yeung, Ince and Co

The eight Sector Representatives are:

  • Builders/Yards/Manufacturers: Paul Blanc, Groupe Beneteau
  • Boat Charter/Yacht Management: Bryan Tse, Anglo Eastern
  • Shops/Distributors: Andrew Chan, Ronsil Development
  • Marinas/Clubs/Training Organisations: Alan Reid, RHKYC
  • Boat Brokers: Baggy Sartape, Asia Boating
  • Technical Services/Repairs/Installations: Genevieve Mok, Man Lee Tat
  • Professional/Surveying/Transportation/Safety Service: Richard Lamble, MSES
  • Media/PR: Suzy Rayment, Asia Yacht Press

The following aims and objectives were agreed:

  • To seek international recognition by ICOMIA
  • To seek local recognition by relevant Government bodies
  • To seek local recognition by relevant local Business associations
  • To seek representation on the HK Watersports Council
  • To consider a paid secretariat to run the Association
  • To prepare, circulate, and report on a survey of Members
  • To appoint an Auditor and Company Secretary for the Association
  • To develop a Code of Ethics to be added to the Aims and Objectives of the Association
  • Approach to be made to the ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) for information on courses which could be useful for Hong Kong BIA members
  • To seek and appoint an Honorary President of the Association
  • To investigate the future location of a major industry promotion event - Boat Hong Kong

The association website, hongkongbia.com, is now operational though a cloud-based system and members can access data and information through a membership portal.

The first council meeting was held on the May 15, 2018 and each of the sectors are now following up with the relevant members to both grow the association and strengthen communication between the members of the various sectors.

The formation of the HKBIA is a very positive move for the territory’s leisure marine sector in as much that it is the most mature such market in Asia and yet the local government shows very little or no real interest in the local boating yachting market. There is a big shortage of marina berths, especially for larger yachts, and the prospect of new marina projects is at best very limited. There are also strict cruising rules in place, especially from visiting yachts.