ECONOMY

Ship equipment makers strike deals with foreign shipyards

Greek entrepreneurs involved in the shipping manufacturing sector are targeting customers on the international market like never before. The sector may be in crisis but Greek shipowners are blossoming and local marine equipment manufacturers are increasingly focusing their attention on exports.

International financing opportunities for marine products, services and technologies of high added-value are also starting to emerge. Funds for research and technology amounting to tens of billions of euros.

While credit from Europe remains elusive, there are ongoing talks between Greek entrepreneurs and Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese and the Chinese. The latter are showing particularly strong interest in working with Greek shipyards and manufacturers, and exchanging know-how with them. The presence of Cosco’s subsidiary in Piraeus has been the catalyst for such cooperations. The numerous orders by Greek shipowners made to Chinese shipyards have also played a significant role.

The first tangible results of this export-oriented strategy have come from South Korea. Athens and Seoul have signed a deal through which Greek manufacturers of marine equipment for new vessels have received orders from the Korean shipbuilding industry. This includes an order by Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries worth 12 million euros.

The success of the cooperation with the Koreans has encouraged the Greeks to also turn to China, Japan and Vietnam. This process has involved the ministries of Merchant Marine, Foreign Affairs and Development, as well as the Hellenic Marine Equipment Manufacturers and Exports, an association of 15 Greek firms that was founded a few months ago and has already secured some significant orders.

Among the Korean industries to have opened negotiations with Greek manufacturers are Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Samsung Heavy Industries, Hyundai Mipo Dockyard, STX Offshore & Shipbuilding, Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction and Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering.