ASMEX unites and excites

The upcoming ASMEX conference, 22 to 24 May will feature high calibre speakers drawn from the world's leading superyacht and marine companies, a compelling line-up for Australian businesses aiming to take advantage of global trends.

Written by AIMEX-Superyacht Australia
Photography by ASMEX

12 May 2017


The 7th edition of ASMEX will run 21 to 23 May ahead of the 2017 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show. The Australian International Marine Export Group (AIMEX) recognises the value of its supporting partners, without whom, AIMEX, Superyacht Australia and ACMG would not be able to offer this prestigious marine industry event and attract high calibre of speakers year after year.

With the theme: “STAYING RELEVANT IN TODAY’S GLOBAL BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT”, ASMEX 2017 will be held at the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort on Queensland’s Gold Coast, 22 to 24 May, in the lead up to the 28th Sanctuary Cove International Boat show.

In 2017, topics to be covered by expert speakers include: Adapting to change; Understanding global economic and political forces; Ensuring your business retains the right expertise; Staying close to the customer; Keeping ahead of technology, among many more.

AIMEX-Superyacht Australia CEO, MaryAnne Edwards is confident the 2017 program will inspire and inform, making the event a compelling investment in any business related to the superyacht, manufacturing and commercial marine sectors.


Speakers include business founders, CEOS and some of the heads of the most renowned superyacht brands globally.

“ASMEX an absolutely compelling event for any business eager to maintain its relevance in the superyacht and commercial marine sectors,” stated MaryAnne Edwards, AIMEX-Superyacht Australia Chief Executive.

In 2017, due to increasing uptake, the conference will relocate to MacArthurs Ballroom, which has capacity for up to 300 guests.

The most significant presentation this year will comprise the findings from the ground-breaking research into the economic value and untapped potential of the Australian superyacht industry. The independent Economic Impact Study (EIS) – the first of its kind – was funded with the support of the Queensland Government and quantifies the actual current value of the entire industry and importantly, barriers to its growth, which once removed would bring myriad benefits to the broader Australian economy.

Conducted by the AEC Group, the study shows Australia’s superyacht industry is a high value niche sector which contributed a total of $1.97 billion to gross domestic product (GDP) in the 2016 financial year, supporting a wide range of local businesses.

However, the study found the national superyacht industry is held back by restrictive policy, which if relaxed, would allow it to contribute an additional estimated $1.12 billion to GDP in 2021, for a total contribution of $3.34 billion.

Currently, comparatively few international superyachts come to Australia because the current legislation makes charting in our waters unviable; a superyacht must be fully imported and 10 percent GST on its value paid – a major disincentive.

“The local superyacht industry is not well known in Australia, thanks partly to the guests’ highly private nature,” said Ms Edwards.

“If the government fixes the legislation so foreign superyachts have freedom to charter here like they do in New Zealand, our superyacht industry would grow substantially. We could see an extra 8,100 local jobs making a total of 24,400 jobs by 2021.”

The AEC Group researchers will present the full findings of the EIS and discuss how industry can leverage its content, working with government on a way forward.

Carla Demaria, President of Monte Carlo Yachts, heads the stellar line-up of international speakers, with the authority of 30 years in the boating business, 20 of those working her way through the ranks of the Azimut Group to head up the Atlantis brand. She launched Monte Carlo Yachts with the full support of Bénéteau’s Annette Beneteau-Roux, who has been running one of the largest shipbuilding companies in the world since 1964.

Roland Briene, Damen Shipyards Group’s Area Director APAC, will address the potential of the growing commercial marine industry and opportunities for Australian businesses. With more than a decade of commercial marine experience operating across Europe, Asia and Australia, Mr Briene is a major drawcard for ASMEX 2017.

Kevin Merrigan, CEO of Northrop & Johnson and President of the Fort Lauderdale, San Diego and France offices, will also share his knowledge and insight gleaned from his 30-year superyacht career.

Farouk Nefzi, Feadship’s Marketing and Brand Director makes his return to ASMEX, praising the event’s value as a means of forging strong bonds among industry players.

Erwin Bamps, CEO of Gulf Craft is another return speaker, citing the conference’s in-depth industry analysis and forecasts, plus quality of networking as its main appeal.

Mr Bamps will be speaking on how to do business in the Middle East, updating delegates on the market and how Australian companies should go about targeting this region.

Martin Baum, son of company founder and Managing Director of the Pantaenius Group since 2006, will shed light on the key theme of staying relevant in today’s global environment.  Pantaenius is major sponsor of ASMEX 2017.

Joining ASMEX ahead of the 2017 ICOMIA conference to be held concurrently with SCIBS, is Jouko Huju President of ICOMIA (International Council of Marine Industry Associations). Mr Huju is Managing Director of the Finnish Marine Industries Federation, Finnboat and will share ICOMIA’s current data on global trends and opportunities.

>From the Australian industry with a global outlook, Greg Haines, International Sales and Marketing Manager of Maritimo Yachts will bring comprehensive insight around the Australian marine export sector; the challenges, triumphs, and his view on the future of the industry.

Mr Haines is the son of legendary Queensland boat builder, the late John Haines AM. His extensive marine industry experience includes Managing Director at the Haines Group, Grow Boating Director, Marine Queensland Director, Australian Marine Engine Council among others.

Mark Thirlwell, Chief Economist at Austrade will present on the topic of “A world of change: How economics, politics and technology are reshaping the global economy and Australia’s place in it”.

CEO of AIMEX, Superyacht Australia and ACMG, MaryAnne Edwards said “Being able to secure speakers of such high calibre and personality shows the importance of ASMEX in the global marine industry.

“I believe it is a great sign for the industry and proves the continuing global interest in the Australian market. We are seeing growth potential for the Australian market across all sectors and it is fantastic that key stakeholders in the industry like Damen Shipyards Group are participating in the conference.”

During the conference, AIMEX-Superyacht Australia will host the 2017 Australian Marine Export, Superyacht & Commercial Marine Awards, this year celebrating a record 39 applications from around the country.

This year’s sponsors and partners include some of the leading names in international marine. Maxwell Marine are sponsoring this year’s Welcome Function which will be held at the Black Angus Bar and Grill on the Marina in the Sanctuary Cove Village on the opening night, 22 May. Boasting a marina location, live music, finger food and beverages, the Welcome Function is expected to bring over 100 guests and has the reputation of a must-attend event of the conference.

Pantaenius Sail and Motor Yacht Insurance have been a major partner since 2013 and will be supporting ASMEX again this year as well as welcoming visitors in two locations across the show, both on water (Pier E) and in the Pantaenius Superyacht and Marine Pavilion, (Stand 351). Managing Director of Pantaenius, Martin Baum, will be a key speaker at the event and will be presenting on trends affecting the global superyacht industry.

The City of Gold Coast has generously contributed towards this year’s Inwards Stakeholder Program. This initiative allows international marine industry leaders to visit the Gold Coast during ASMEX and SCIBS which is guaranteed to create additional networking and exporting opportunities for Gold Coast based marine industry businesses.

Penske Power System is another partner providing invaluable support to ensure the success of the leading marine industry conference. As a highly experienced and credible organization providing servicing, refitting and engine rebuilds, Penske Power System is a great partner to have.

Textron Aviation is a new partner for ASMEX and will be supporting the conference for the first time in 2017. Textron Aviation are a globally renowned industry leader selling premium aircrafts and associated services and it is a pleasure to have them associated with the conference.

ASMEX would also like to acknowledge the generous support from the following brands for their support: AMSA, AwlGrip, Aqualuma, Bellingham Marine, Line 7, MedAire, QLD Government, Rivergate Marina and Shipyard, Sevenstar Yacht Transport, Sydney City Marine, Maxwell Marine, Triton Submarines, Pyrotek, Arctic Steel, Business Class Transfers, Palm Products, Perth International Boat Show, Muir and Benjamin & Benjamin.

“We would like to thank all of our partners. It is impossible to put on events like this for the industry without their incredible support,” Ms Edwards said, adding that places are still available for businesses wishing to attend ASMEX 2017.

“Attending ASMEX 2017 is a great investment in your business. The program will be extremely relevant for manufacturers, exporters and suppliers to the recreational, superyacht and commercial marine sectors such as: Agents, Boat Builders, Brokers, Captains, Equipment manufacturers, Government, Marina Developers, Marina Managers, Marine Insurers/Brokers, Port Operators, Refit and repair yards, and other stakeholders.”


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