In order to look at the show and meet the high number of international visitors as well as buyers who had been brought in by the council to look at the capability of manufacturers on the Gold Coast, the Mayor of the Gold Coast Tom Tate arrived at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show on Friday.
The Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) had worked with the Australian International Marine Export Group (AIMEX) to bring in key international buyers who had indicated they were keen to look at distributing more Australian products in global markets. A number of local manufactures met with these buyers during the ASMEX conference and the 4 days of the Sanctuary Cove International Boat show with extremely positive results. The international buyers and distributors were from Taiwan, Brazil, USA, Netherlands, UAE, and NZ.
Gold Coast City Council Economic Development and Tourism Committee Chair, Councillor Jan Grew, said the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show was an important event for local marine manufacturers.
“This event is integral to the Gold Coast marine industry and each year, the boat show plays an important role in attracting visitors to the city and showcasing the outstanding facilities and marine infrastructure that exists here,” Cr Grew said.
“Gold Coast City Council was delighted to be working in partnership with AIMEX to support the attendance of international buyers from a range of key export markets.”
“While they are here, the buyers also met with many of our local businesses and had the opportunity to tour our city courtesy of Business Gold Coast.”
MaryAnne Edwards AIMEX CEO said “The Mayor and the GCCC should be congratulated for this initiative and that a full report will be completed over the next 4 weeks detailing the sales and outcomes of this project.”
Edwards said “this type of support is the most practical support the council can be giving the marine sector in this economy with the dollar making it hard to compete and the high cost of manufacturing reducing margins. Bringing buyers in provides many of the smaller manufacturers, who cannot afford to attend international trade shows or even the time to leave their business, an amazing opportunity.”
Global demand within the marine sector is down and traditional markets for Australian product have slowed although it does seem we are seeing more movement in the USA which has always been a big market for Australian manufacturers.
“Bringing real buyers and distributors in who already have key markets and channels for Australian products is the best injection the council could give local manufacturers” said Aqualuma Marine Lighting Director Carl Amor.
A number of key Gold Coast manufacturers have already made direct sales as a result of the Gold Coast City Council approving this project. Positive sales and ongoing relationships have already been reported from Aqualuma, Air Berth Boat Lifts and Superior Jetties, with other companies like Riviera, Marine Tuft, Lightwave Yachts, Marine Engineering Consultants, Marine Technologies (M-Tech), and several others all in discussions with one or more of the buyers.
Edwards stated “With initiatives like this the sales are not always instant but the relationships have started and we will see significant economic returns for the Gold Coast from this project.”
Edwards estimated immediate returns were likely around $450k with longer term returns to be well in excess of $2 million dollars over the next 12 months.