Review of Maritime Transport 2011

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More than 80 per cent of international trade in goods is carried by sea and an even higher percentage of developing-country trade is carried in ships. The Review of Maritime Transport, an annual publication prepared by the Division on Technology and Logistics of the UNCTAD secretariat, is an important source of information on a vital sector. It closely monitors developments affecting world seaborne trade, freight rates, ports, surface transport and logistics services, as well as trends in ship ownership control and fleet age, tonnage supply and productivity. The review contains information on legal and regulatory developments and includes an in depth focus annually on a selected topic. In 2011, the participation of developing countries in maritime businesses is highlighted.

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Developing countries’ participation in maritime businesses

Developing countries are expanding their participation in a range of different maritime businesses. They already hold strong positions in ship scrapping, registration, and the supply of seafarers, and they have growing market shares in more capital-intensive or technologically advanced maritime sectors such as ship construction and owning. China and the Republic of Korea alone built 72.4 per cent of the world’s ship capacity (in dwt) in 2010, and nine out of the twenty largest shipowning nations are developing countries. Ship financing, insurance services and vessel classification are among the few maritime sectors that have, until today, been dominated by the more advanced economies. Here too, however, developing countries have recently been demonstrating their potential to become major market players. India, for instance, has joined the International Association of Classification Societies, and through this gains easier access to the global ship classification market. China now hosts two of the world’s largest banks dealing with ship financing. This chapter analyses these and other maritime businesses. It discusses the current and potential participation of developing countries based on a wide range of sector data, and provides examples illustrating the growth paths of selected developing countries in different maritime businesses. Furthermore, the chapter explores the linkages between maritime sectors, as some develop more autonomously than others. It also assesses how policy measures and a country’s stage of development may influence its involvement in a maritime sector.

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