AAL Japan’s one-year anniversary celebrations in Tokyo provided an opportunity for the country’s leading shipping industry stakeholders to come together and share cautious optimism about the industry’s economic outlook and predictions that heavy lift breakbulk cargo movement ex Japan into Asia will grow over the next 18 months.
AAL’s anniversary celebrations at Meijikinenkan were attended by almost 200 guests and hosted by its Chairman, Heinrich Schoeller, alongside Managing Director, Kyriacos Panayides and other senior representatives of the multipurpose operator from around the world. Helping the mood of optimism about Japan’s project cargo exports was news that local engineering companies are involved with energy projects coming online in Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar, as well as oil and gas developments in Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand. Beyond Asia too, upcoming energy projects are being targeted in Africa and oil & gas projects on the US West Coast and Middle East are raising confidence and drawing focus away from a slowing China trade.
Wolfgang Harms, Deputy Managing Director of AAL and head of its operations in Japan commented, ‘Japan’s position as the world’s third largest economy is very much by design. The engineering, industrial and commercial infrastructure and capabilities here are a leading example to the rest of the Asia and indeed many other markets around the world.
‘The local government is working hard to lift economic fortunes. This is being shaped not just with monetary policy to boost trade & consumer spending to an inflation target of 2%, but through infrastructure developments, renewable energy reforms and the building of stronger trade outside Asia – a policy which helped exports rise in the last quarter of 2015, after a sustained period of decline.’
‘Part of the traditional and close local shipping community for many years – even before we opened the Tokyo office – AAL has understood that quality, transparency and reliability are absolute conditions to successful shipping operations here and, in delivering upon these, we’ve established and maintained a leading position in our sector. We will continue to work alongside the rest of the Japanese shipping community to support and even build upon these green shoots of growth in the market.’