International Maritime Trade and World Economics
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Current Economies of the World
The current economy of the world has been showing the growth despite the economic recession in 2007-2008. In 2011, the gross world product (GWP) increased by 3.6% compared to 2010. Countries that recorded the highest growth in the gross domestic product include China with a 9.2% increase, Argentina - 8.9%, India - 7.2%, Nigeria - 7.2%, and Saudi Arabia - 6.8% (World Bank Publication, 2011). Countries that experienced a slow economic growth in 2011 due to weak financial markets include Spain, Italy, and Greece. Japan experienced a slow growth in the gross domestic since it was faced with the natural disasters such as the Fukushima nuclear disaster and tsunami. The economic growth was not strong in the United States since investors lost confidence in making their investments in this country. This is because it has a big government debt thus consumers are afraid of how this debt will impact the fiscal policy. In its turn, this policy may affect consumer buying patterns, thus leading to a decrease in the purchasing power of all the consumers. In most countries, central banks were opting to increase the money supply since they wanted to push the interest rates down. This was in an attempt of encouraging investments that would help in stimulating the overall economic growth. In the whole world the unemployment rates continued their upward trend in 2011.
Most countries claimed that their economic growth was hindered by several global challenges. The high population growth rate in the world caused an increase in the levels of unemployment. This is because the numbers of jobs available are fewer than the total global population. Furthermore, the famine and epidemics have been facing most developing countries. This makes governments in these counties to channel their funds in the provision of foods to eliminate the famine and to purchase medicines to curb the epidemics (World Bank Publication, 2011). This caused a slowdown in their overall economic growth. Furthermore, countries that depend on fishing as their main source of income claimed that overfishing in oceans contributed to a decrease in the amount of fish that they could export. In Sub-Saharan Africa, deforestation and desertification have contributed to a slow growth in the economy. This is because they lead to a decrease of food produced for consumption and export. Desertification and deforestation also led to a decrease in the numbers of wildlife in these countries, and this affected their tourism activities. Countries in Western Europe faced the problem of channeling their resources from the welfare programs and directing them to investment activities. Sometimes these countries contribute many funds to helping marginalized countries and sometimes they forget promoting investment activities in their own countries. A slow growth in the United States could have been contributed by the fact that it allocated many funds in fighting terror in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Most countries are aware that they will have recorded a positive economic growth by the end of 2012. Technology has advanced in most countries. This will cause an increase in agricultural output increasing farm productivity, adoption of alternative sources of energy, and provision of improved medical care. Moreover, communication has improved throughout the world. Probably, it will contribute to a reduction of the costs of conducting international trade leading to an increase in the global living standards. The United Kingdom (UK) has predicted that its economy will improve in 2012. This is because the current Olympics being held in this country has stimulated foreign investments. This has caused a boom in the real estate industry in this country since lovers of sports have purchased houses in this country that they will reside in as they watch these games. The employment opportunities have also increased in this country since the residents of Britain have established businesses where they sell merchandise to tourists at the huge profit margins. The economy of the United States is also expected to grow by the end of 2012 (World Bank Publication, 2011). Most corporations in this country have indicated that they increased their employment opportunities, and this promises to reduce the levels of unemployment in this country and increase the living standards of its citizens. In addition to this, the stock market in this country is improving, and this promises to foster a positive economic growth in it.
The European zone debt crisis is, however, threatening to slow the economic growth of the world. Many countries export their products to this zone. If this crisis continues, the consumer purchasing power will reduce, thus weaking the ability of consumers to purchase imports. About 322 million people use the Euro currency to conduct their transactions. If this currency collapses, people living in the Euro zone will not have the ability of buying expensive imports originating from China, India, Russia, and Japan. Economic analysts argue that if the Euro zone crisis continues without other governments all over the world intervening, there is a possibility that a global recession might occur (Noord & Kelly, 2011). This is because most governments in the Euro zone will be unable to repay their debts, and thus countries outside the Euro zone will not prefer making their investments in this country. Furthermore, foreign companies operating in this region will opt to cut job opportunities in their companies in an attempt of cutting down labor costs. This crisis also threatens to cause a collapse of most financial institutions in the globe. Banks have invested heavily in the government debts of the Euro zone. If the Euro collapses, they will lose the money that they have invested in government debts, thus causing them to incur huge financial losses. Furthermore, these banks hold huge amounts of currency in form of Euros. If the Euro debt crisis worsens, the Euro will continue devaluing, thus the banks will incur foreign exchange losses.
The economy of Greece has been affected significantly by the Euro zone debt crisis. Financial analysts argue that Greece economic troubles started when it adopted a single currency. It increased its public spending after the adoption of this currency. However, it did not receive many incomes since most businesses in this region started practicing tax evasions. This caused a significant difference in its budget deficit. After the global financial crisis occurred in 2007, the debt levels of Greece increased significantly (Noord & Kelly, 2011). In May 2010, the Euro zone spent about 110 billion in an attempt of trying to bailout Greece loans. Most countries have provided support to Greece in order to better its economy. Currently, efforts are being made to try to reduce the level of government spending in this country. In addition to this, the government of this country has been trying hard to increase the employment opportunities in the following country. This is because the high employment rates will stimulate the economic growth, thus eliminating its current debt crisis. Many consequences will follow if Greece fails to pay its creditors. Most investors will fear to make investments in countries that have huge debts and experience weak economies. Examples of these countries include Italy and Spain. Furthermore, investors will not buy bonds issued by these countries, thus making their debts worse.
Qatar is the country that projects the highest economic growth in 2012. Its economic growth rate is about 18.7%. The economy of this country has been strong mainly because of its oil exports that account for 70% of its total revenues. Its peak level of oil production is about 500,000 barrels per day. It has strong bases of gas reserves that are about 7000 km8 accounting about 5% of the world’s gas reserves. This country has also diversified its economy since it has considered introducing other industries that are not related to energy. The industries aimed at producing steel fertilizers and petrochemicals as well as construction materials have been introduced in Qatar. This is because the demand for housing in this region has increased thus construction projects in the following region have also increased. Moreover, its financial sector is also strong since it has many Islamic banks that record high profit margins (Fromherz, 2011). These banks also offer financial support to young entrepreneurs and businesses at favorable interest rates, thus promoting investments in this country leading to the overall economic growth. Examples of such banks include: Al Masraf Al Rayyan, Qatar Islamic Bank, and Qatar International Islamic Bank. The capital markets of this country are also strong. This makes companies operating in this region raise huge capital through the trade of shares. Qatar also has advanced transport infrastructure that has facilitated trade in this region.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) classified Turkey as one of the emerging economies of the world. In 2011, its gross domestic product was $1.026 trillion. Its rate of unemployment in the same year was 9.8%, and in the previous year, it was 12% (World Bank Publication, 2011). The main sectors that contribute to the economic growth of this country include: an agricultural sector, an industrial sector, a construction and contracting sector, and a service sector. Turkey exports many food crops. Examples of these food crops include cherry, watermelon, tomatoes, onions, green pepper, sugar beet, tea, apple, and lemons. Most people in this country are employed in the agricultural sector. Turkey also practices livestock farming and aquaculture. Turkey also manufactures vehicles, textiles, builds ships, and manufactures firearms. This has caused its overall economy to increase since these sectors have been performing well. This country also performs well in the manufacture of steel. It produced a record 34.1 million tonnes of steel in 2011. The main steel producing companies in this country are Erdermir, Habas, Icdas, Colakoglu, and Diler. It has also been performing well in the tourism and finance sector that have contributed to its overall economic growth.
Maritime sector involves all the activities that are related to the shipping industry. It is composed of organizations and activities such as marine transportation, commercial fishing in oceans and seas, cruise and recreational facilities that mainly compose luxurious ships, naval industry, and ship building, commercial ports and maritime training. Other components that contribute to the maritime sector include professional organizations and trade unions that fight for the rights of workers that conduct their activities in the maritime sectors. The maritime sector has massive contributions to the global economy. It provides a vehicle for the transportation of oil and gases throughout the world. It is cheaper to transport crude oil through this sector. This is because crude oil is bulky, and it would have cost countries many funds to transport it through road network. It has also facilitated transportation of oil from landlocked countries. Countries, such as Niger, use the Nigerian maritime to transport their oil exports (Stopford, 2009). This has enabled these countries to earn increased revenues through the sea transport despite the fact that these countries are landlocked. Furthermore, the maritime sector has provided huge employment opportunities to citizens of different countries. It has provided the employment to fishermen who carry activities in this sector, shipbuilders, staff who maintain ships, officers who carry out rescue operations to the people trapped in the sea and trade unionists who represent the rights of workers who carry their operations in the sea.
The maritime sector also plays an important role in controlling the traffic in major seas and oceans. The Turkish Straits, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, are narrow, contain sharp bends and are affected by extreme weather conditions. The traffic density in these straits is very high since many people use them and they sometimes cross with vessels carrying toxic and hazardous materials. It is the responsibility of the maritime sector to regulate this traffic in order to prevent innocent civilians from being affected by the hazardous chemicals that are carried by ships moving in these straits. This country established the System of Turkish Strait Vessel Traffic Services (TSVTS) that was assigned the role of monitoring the marine traffic in all kinds of the environmental conditions (Coast Security, 2012). It also records all voice, images, and data that are related to the maritime traffic and displays them whenever any authority requires them. Most countries in the maritime sector are members of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). This organization offers treaties among its members that aim at ensuring that all marine activities are safe from piracy or accidents, and that the maritime activities minimize water pollution. The main reason that countries in the maritime sector joined the IMO is to prevent conflicting laws if each country operated under its own laws and codes. The major conventions of this treaty include the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the International Convention for the Prevention of the Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), and the International Convention of Load Lines (LL). Other conventions include the International Convention on Standards of Training (ICST), the Certification and Watch Keeping for Seafarers (STCW), and the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships (ICTMS’69).
The IMO plays a significant role in preventing water pollution in the maritime sector. It helps in the prevention of oil pollution that may be caused by tankers transporting oil. These tankers transport about 2400 million tonnes of crude oil around the world. The IMO ensures that all the tankers are built and operated safely in an attempt of reducing oil spillage in case a tanker faced any accident in the sea (IMO, 2012). Oil spillage causes death in the marine life since it blocks the amount of oxygen that is available to the fish and other animals for respiration. The IMO also reduces pollution due to air emissions by regulating the amount of smoke emitted by ships. It achieves this by inspecting all ships to ascertain that their engines run well and that they do not emit too much smoke or toxic fumes. It also investigates the amount of garbage that ships in transit dispose to the sea.
The IMO also plays an important role in maintaining safety and security in the maritime sector. This organization provides safety so that accidents in the sea are minimized. It achieves this by assisting ships navigating in the maritime sector. Furthermore, it investigates the designs of all the ships that transport people in this sector to ascertain that they are built properly and that they maintain stability while navigating through waters (IMO, 2012). It also maintains the security of this sector by preventing piracy activities. In case pirates capture a ship, it sends patrols who are assigned the mission of rescuing the hostages in these ships. Furthermore, it tries to negotiate with these terrorists in an attempt of ensuring that all the hostages are unharmed after a pirate attack.
Greece Maritime Sector
Maritime sector contributes a big portion to the overall economy of Greece. It represents about 8 % of the total GDP of this country. It is worth mentioning that Greece has the second largest fleet of ships in the whole world. According to the recent statistics carried out by economists, it owns about one seventh of the total fleet of the whole world measured considering dead weight tonnage. This country has many shipping companies that manage all the fleet that carry out shipping operations in the maritime sector. These companies have a responsibility of transporting commodities like iron ore, coal, crude oil, and fish. They also transport chemical products to countries that manufacture them for sale and transport combis. The five largest shipping companies in this country include Kristen Navigation Inc., Cardiff Marine, Tsakos Shipping Trading, Dynacom Tankers, and Gulf Marine Management SA (Kawai, Lee & Petri (2010). Most of the shipping companies in Greece have been listed in major stock markets all over the world. Examples of these stock markets include: NYSE, London, and NASDAQ. The listing has enabled them to raise huge capitals for expanding their fleet and increasing their operations in the new sea routes. Most of these shipping companies have strong bases in London and Athens. These cities have a huge customer base for shipping operations, and thus they offer these companies good shipping business.
Greece has a big coastline stretching to about 16,000 kilometers. This coastline has many islands that are inhabited by people. Shipping companies have thus opted for the option of transporting citizens across these islands in order to increase their revenues. These companies transport about 30 million passengers and 7 million cars each year (Kawai, Lee & Petri, 2011). This has made the government of Greece to appreciate the necessity of ensuring the safety of every individual that is being transported through the maritime sector in this country. The shipping companies in Greece are members of the IMO. This helps in ensuring that their ships are constructed in accordance with all the safety standards defined by the IMO, thus preventing any marine accidents. Furthermore, the government of Greece offers quality seafarer’s training so as to ensure that they have all the skills of navigating a ship considering technological advancements and new requirements defined by the convention. The major ports in Greece include: Argostoli, Elefsina Harbor, Drapetsona, Kalamata, Patras, Kavala, and Volos.
The maritime sector has led to the rise of many industries in Greece as well as in the Euro zone. Many insurance firms have benefitted from the shipping operations in this country. Lloyds London has earned huge premiums from shipping companies in Greece. Other insurance brokers that have benefited from the maritime sector in this country include Marsh, Lambert Fenchurch, and Willis who specialize in offering marine insurance packages. Banks have also benefited from the maritime sector in Greece. Most companies seek capital from banks in the form of the long term loans for fleet expansion activities. These companies pay these loans in high interest rates, and thus making the banks earn huge profits. The Royal Bank of Scotland has lent loans to most shipping companies in Greece. Financial analysts estimate that this bank has lent about 13,980,000 million dollars to shipping companies in Greece (Chew, Lee & Tang, 2011). HSBC has also financed the shipping companies in Greece by about 5,671,000 million dollars.
Maritime Sector in Japan
The maritime sector has contributed greatly to the economy of Japan, which is known in the world as a country that manufactures and assembles electronic products. It exports these products to other countries in the international market through the sea. Many shipping ports in Japan are highly mechanized with the latest shipping equipment. It is worth mentioning that it has about 1020 shipping ports. About 22 main ports are engaged in special purpose activities. Examples of these ports include: the Port of Hakata, the Port of Kobe, the Port of Osaka, the Port of Tokyo, the Port of Maizuru, the Port of Kitakyushu, and the port of Chiba (Kawai, Lee & Petri, 2010). The government in partnership with port management authorities finances the activities of managing ports in this country. However, shipping activities in this country receive high competition from South Korea and China. These countries also have established shipping companies and well-managed port authorities, thus facilitating their marine trade activities.
Japan owns and controls the largest number of merchant ship fleet. This has favored its maritime sector since it helps in ensuring the timely transportation of fish and commodities such as oil. Economic analysts argue that the marine activities in this country have succeeded greatly since it has allocated many funds in maritime research. Due to this, this country has come up with latest technological equipment in the hydrodynamics field, which facilitates the efficient shipping transportation (Kawai, Lee & Petri, 2010). Furthermore, it contains the most efficient shipyards compared to other countries in the shipping industry all over the world. The main shipping companies in Japan include: K Line, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, and MOL. These companies own the largest number of fleets in this country. Moreover, they conduct most of Japan’s trade that involves marine transport. They employ many Japanese and foreigners to manage their expansive fleets. The staffs in these companies receive quality training so as to ensure that they conduct all their operations in the highest professional standards.
Maritime sector has contributed to the economy of Japan through tourism. Tourists visit this country to cruise in its seas and view the species of fish that this country has. In addition to this, they carry out sport fishing activities in most of its islands. Furthermore, tourists also like visiting maritime museums where they learn about the history of shipping in Japan. Furthermore, they learn on how ancient Japan conducted its marine trade activities (Luck, 2008). Tourism helps this country to earn foreign exchange, thus boosting its overall economy. Furthermore, the tourists reside in hotels of this country, and this provides a source of employment to the citizens working as chefs and hotel attendants in these hotels. Japan also has many companies that manufacture and assemble ships. It exports these ships to foreign countries, and it contributes significantly to its overall economic basket.
Several challenges face the maritime sector in Japan. Most of the workforce engaging in this sector comprise mostly of the aging population. These people only know how to conduct shipping operations using the old and outdated technological means. Due to this, shipping companies spend many funds on training and development programs in their efforts of educating this aging population. This money would rather have been spent on the expansion programs. Old people are not very productive since productivity decreases with age. Companies in this country are considering efforts of encouraging the young generation to consider employment in the maritime sector. Some companies have introduced employment packages made specifically for the young workforce in an attempt of wooing them to consider applying for jobs in their companies (Kawai, Lee & Tang, 2011). Japan is also affected with natural calamities, such as tsunamis and earthquakes. This disrupts activities in the sea since sailors fear passing these routes during these calamities. Furthermore, sometimes the earthquakes destroy warehouses having containers that hold goods for shipment.
Hong Kong Maritime Sector
Despite the global economic crisis that has affected most countries and industries in the world recently, the maritime sector in Hong Kong continues to perform well. According to recent statistics from this city, shipping activities increased by 40 % in 2010 compared to 2008. The establishment of new shipping companies, cross-water transports, ship agents, managers and the increase in foreign operations caused mainly the increase. However, analysts also argue that the shipping history of this city could be a key contributing factor that makes the marine sector in this city to be strong. Around 1980, Sir Yue-Kong Pao and Mr. Chao-Yung Tung owned the largest fleet of ships in the whole world (McGiffet & Tang, 2008). These two ship owners established their offices in Hong Kong from where they dispatched most of their goods. Investors around the world opened their offices in Hong Kong in order to access the fleet of these two ship owners easily. Hong Kong controls about 8 % of the total world’s fleet. These statistics were based on the total deadweight tonnage retrieved from Hong Kong Ship-owners Association. In 2011, the total imports done through the maritime sector in Hong Kong increased by 24%. This shows how the maritime sector in this city is important to the overall growth of its economy. Furthermore, its overall exports increased by about 11%, making this city to earn revenues of about $ 910 billion in 2011.
Strong maritime trade in Hong Kong has benefited the Chinese government and people in several ways. It has boosted ship building activities in China. This is due to the increase in the demand of fleet operating in the Hong Kong maritime sector. The Chinese mainland holds a total of about 44% of the total ship building orders, and this has helped in increasing job opportunities in this country. Furthermore, the Hong Kong maritime sector has led to the development of many industries supporting the shipping sector. Examples of these industries include banks, insurance brokerage firms, and companies that deal with ship maintenance. Due to the strong economic development in Hong Kong, the world trade activities have been shifting to Asia. The ship management companies have opened their operations in this city in order to help in the running of heavy shipping traffic passing through this city. The major shipping companies in Hong Kong include: COSCO International Holding, Anglo-Eastern Group, Indo-China Steam Navigation Company Limited, Orient Overseas Limited, and Parakau Shipping (McGiffet & Tang, 2008).
Currently, Hong Kong has about 2143 number of vessels. In December 2011, the number of vessels in this city was about 1952. These vessels have a gross tonnage of about 77,365,000 tonnes. Most of these vessels are made up of cargo ships. These ships include bulk carriers, container vessels that transport containers, oil carriers, dredgers, ferries, chemical tankers, and yachts. The increase in the number of vessels in Hong Kong has strengthened the presence of insurers in this city. Examples of these companies include Falcon Insurance Company. This company has covered most of the ships in this city, and thus, it protects most of the fleet passing through Hong Kong from the risk of financial loss due to marine accidents. However, Hong Kong still faces several risks, such as natural calamities that disrupt the activities in the sea.
Maritime Sector in the United Kingdom
The maritime sector has contributed significantly to the overall economy of the United Kingdom (UK). The UK earns 8.6 billion sterling pounds from the maritime activities in this sector. This is because most of the United Kingdom’s trades are conducted through the sea. The percentage contribution of the maritime sector to the trade is about 90%. Many activities take place in the English maritime sector. Some of these activities include leisure cruising and commercial marine leisure activities. In these activities, tourists pay many funds in order to view some of the marine life in the English sea. Other activities include loading and offloading of cargo from ships passing through the waters of this country. The main ports that conduct the activity of loading and offloading of goods in this country include Cardiff, Fleetwood, Goole, Ipswich, King Lynn, Port Talbot, Troon, and Swansea. Other shipping activities that occur in the maritime sector in England include offshore exploration and production (Stopford, 2009). These activities aim at investigating the possibility of oil wells in the English sea.
The maritime sector in England has employed about 196,400 people in 6,700 enterprises. This has helped in improving the living standards of citizens working in this sector as the purchasing power of these citizens increases, thus improving the overall gross domestic product of this country. Most people are employed in the fishing sector where they catch and sell shellfish. Furthermore, some of the citizens are employed in the maritime tourism where they serve as tour guides for tourists wanting to visit the maritime museums in England. The Department of Transport is responsible for regulating the maritime activities in England. It conducts this responsibility by formulating policies that encourage the growth of the maritime sector in this country. These policies include reducing tonnage tax for ships operating in this sector and offering total tax waiver for the purchase of new fleet of ships. Furthermore, this department has the responsibility of ensuring the safety of all marine activities. This is to reduce the number of sea accidents that may result in deaths and the loss of important cargos. The Transport Department also has the responsibility of maintaining the security of the marine sector. It takes important measures of reducing sea piracy by using the latest technological equipment to track down any incoming pirate activity.
The port authorities and the government of England have run the marine sector in this country efficiently. The Port of London Authority has played a major role in the logistics activities passing through the sea in this country. Since London is hosting the 2012 Olympics, this port is ever busy transporting goods and people into London. Other authorities engaged in England’s navigation activities include: Associated British Ports, the Bristol Harbor Authority, the Hull City Council, and the Cardiff Harbor Authority. Since 2000, there has been an increase in the number vessels operating under the flag of the United Kingdom. The introduction of Tonnage Tax in 2000 is one of the main reasons that have led to an increase in the number of these ships (Lun, Lai & Cheng, 2010). This tax is introduced by calculating the corporation tax to the notional profits of the shipping company. Furthermore, England has formulated policies that require every shipping company to train a certain proportion of its employees each year. This has helped in increasing the skills of the employees operating in shipping industry in this country.
Maritime Sector in Norway
The maritime sector contributes significantly to the overall economy of Norway. It is the third largest industry after finance and oil and gas industry. The Norwegian Ship-owners’ Association regulates the activities of the maritime sector in this country. This association has been campaigning for the reduction of ship emissions in an attempt of reducing global warming. According to recent statistics from environmentalists, the maritime sector emits about 3% of the overall greenhouse gas emissions. In Norway, the maritime sector is divided into two classes. These sectors include the coastal shipping and the deep sea shipping. Ships in the coastal shipping include cargo ships, rescue boats, passenger crafts and tankers. Deep-sea ships are mainly concerned with exporting goods to countries such as Germany, Ukraine, the USA, and New Zealand.
Norway’s maritime sector has been growing due to the strong innovation in this country. The Association of Norwegian Maritime Exporters has been funding researches of new ship building technology. This is in an attempt of reducing the cost of ship building, therefore increasing the number of ships engaging in maritime trade. The number of ships operating in the Norwegian seas has been increasing since 2004 (Stopford, 2009). The increase has been attributed to increased government spending on the maritime sector. This money was used to fund extensive research on ways of improving employee performance in the shipping industry. Due to this, the level of services offered by employees in the shipping industry has increased. Thus, the companies have expanded to the Norwegian market by opening new offices in this country. Furthermore, the government is encouraging shipping companies in this country to join the International Maritime Organization. If shipping companies join the IMO, the levels of emissions will reduce since this convention has strict policies that members have to adhere to while constructing and maintaining ships. This helps in reducing their overall emissions.
Maritime Sector in Cyprus
The maritime sector in this country has been performing strongly due to its merchant shipping industry. Recently, this country introduced legislative reforms that aimed at increasing the safety and security of shipping activities in this country so that they match the shipping standards that are set by the European Union. Cyprus’ government introduced three pillars that aimed at improving the quality of shipping standards. These pillars include quality, competitiveness, and reliability. However, the global economic recession of 2007 affected the shipping operations in this country (Stopford, 2009). This prompted the government to introduce new reforms in its shipping tax by formulating the New Tonnage Tax System. This system has reduced the overall tax that shipping companies operating under the Cyprus flag paid, therefore stimulating new investments.
Research conducted by economists revealed that this country is ranked the 10th considering the size of its ship fleet and overall tonnage (Stopford, 2009). It has a fleet of over 1000 ships. Cyprus is located strategically in Europe, thus offering its competitive advantage compared to other countries. The specialized ship management companies manage Cypriot Ship Registry. This has enabled transparent registration processes, thus encouraging shipping companies to introduce foreign operations in this country. Economic analysts argue that the future of the maritime sector in Cyprus is bright due to several reasons. It introduced new tax regime that significantly minimized the amount of money that shipping companies paid as corporate taxes. Furthermore, this country provides income tax advantages and capital gains tax for shipping companies in this country. Due to this, the overall profitability of these companies is increased, therefore encouraging the establishment of the shipping companies in this country. The foreign shipping companies also benefit since they do not pay any stamp duty on their legal documents or mortgages.
Maritime Sector in the Netherlands
The Netherlands has a rich history of a strong maritime sector. For many years, the naval entrepreneurs from the Netherlands controlled the Europe’s sea operations. This sector has been strong in the following country since it has excellent ports with advanced machinery and equipment. The Port of Rotterdam, located in the Netherland, is one of the largest ports in Europe. Furthermore, the Port of Amsterdam is located in this country as well. In 2009, shipbuilding sector in Holland realized revenues of about 7.3 billion Euros (Gelderblom, 2009). The ship-building sector in this country provided about 35,000 full time jobs to its the citizens. The Statistics carried out by researchers have ranked third in building yachts considering total tonnage. In addition to this, this country has a strong market share in the manufacture and supply of dredging vessels, high speed patrol boats, and luxury yachts. This has helped it earn many funds due to its exports. Furthermore, the Netherlands has many supporting industries that help to maintain the Ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Many consulting firms research on maritime engineering and spatial planning in an attempt of improving shipping activities in these ports. This has helped in improving the level of efficiency in the shipping activities in these ports, and thus, many companies have set their operations in the Netherlands.
Relationship between the Maritime Sectors in Greece, Japan, Hong Kong, England, Norway South Cyprus, and the Netherlands
The maritime sectors in the above countries are related to each other. These countries support each other in several ways. For instance, the UK has many pioneer firms that have good management expertise. This has made maritime companies from Greece to seek consulting advice from these firms. In addition to this, the financial and insurance sector in the UK is string due to many financial institutions in this country. South Cyprus companies go to these institutions in order to get financial assistance that they use to expand their fleets. The Hong Kong maritime sector is strong for the research and development. This city has many innovative firms that come up with new marine technology for quality ship building or fishing. Furthermore, companies in this city have been carrying extensive research on how to build ships that can withstand external pressures such as tsunamis. This will benefit the maritime sector in Greece and the Netherlands since they will use this technology in their shipbuilding industries. Greece, Norway, the Netherlands, and South Cyprus have formed shipping clusters (Gelderblom, 2009). Companies from these countries share information on how to improve their marketing skills or diversify of their products. From these clusters, shipping companies in South Cyprus got ideas from the maritime sector in England on how to maximize their brand portfolio by introducing luxury shipping and cruises. All the countries mentioned above are members of the IMO. The headquarters of this organization is in London. During the annual IMO meetings, these countries contribute several ideas on how the safety of the marine industry can be improved and strengthened. Moreover, the members of the councils governing the IMO come from countries such as the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. These countries contribute management expertise concerning how to improve the profitability of the maritime sector in Europe.
Marine transport involves the transportation of goods and services through the sea. Most countries conduct the international trade using marine transport. This is because this form of transport is cheaper than road or air transport, especially if the distance involved during the trade is large. In addition to this, the marine transport is the most environmentally friendly form of transport. Emissions released by ships and yachts are fewer compared to emissions released by tracks transporting containers through road networks. Ships such as roll-on ships, tankers, bulk carriers, container ships, cruise ships, coastal trading vessels, dredger, and ocean liners are involved in the maritime transport. Tanker ships mainly transport petroleum products, liquefied natural gas, and chemicals. It is common in the Indian Ocean where they transport oil products from the Middle East.
Container ships transport goods that are packed in containers through the process of containerization. Shiploads packed in containers are safe since these containers are designed to withstand extreme shocks. Due to this, goods in transit by using these ships are protected from the extreme weather conditions and natural calamities. Ship builders design bulk carriers to transport huge cargos, such as iron ore, steel, food, and other products (Lun, Lai, & Cheng, 2010). Countries engaged in the marine transportation use several routes to transport their goods. The Northern Sea Route is used by the United States to transport most of its exports. This route transports about 1.5 million tones of goods in a year. It stretches from Novaya Zemlya in Russia to the Bering Strait. The Trans-Atlantic passage is another important sea route that it used by countries to conduct marine trade.
Merchant marine refers to all the ships of a particular country that are used for commercial activities. Merchant marine excludes all ships engaged in fishing, offshore oil rigs and tugs. In the United States, this fleet of ships carries imports and exports when this country experiences peace and they are transformed into naval auxiliary during times of war. During war, these ships are used to transport the United States troops and deliver war equipment to the fighting soldiers.
Turkey has a total of 629 merchant marines. There are about 102 bulk carriers, 281 cargo ships, 6 liquefied gas ships, 29 roll on/roll off, refrigerated cargo, 46 chemical tankers, 60 passengers/cargo ships, and 25 petroleum tankers (Stopford, 2009).
Japan has a total of about 3757 merchant marine. 683 of these ships are registered in in Japan; while 3074 are registered abroad in countries such as Italy, South Korea, the Phillipines, England, and the United States. 136 ships in this country are bulk carriers, 30 of them are cargo ships, 135 of these ships are passenger/cargo ships and 51 of them are roll on/roll off.
Different countries have different types of merchant marine. Examples of these ships include bulk carriers, roll on/roll off, liquefied gas ships, and refrigerated cargo. Ship building companies design roll on/roll off to carry mainly wheeled cargo such as railway carriages, trailers, and automobiles. These ships have installed ramps that help in ensuring that the cargo rolls on the ship or rolls off the ship after the ship reaches its desired destination. Liquefied gas ships are designed to carry natural gas (Song & Panayides, 2012). They have many installed measures to prevent them from exploding since natural gas is extremely flammable. The staffs who work in merchant marine are known as sailors, seafarers, seamen, or marines. The governments of most countries provide extensive training programs for these staffs in an attempt of improving their navigation skills. In the United States, marines are trained in the United States Merchant Marine Academy. This institution helps in training young marines to be professional seafarers so that they help in facilitating export trade through the sea.
A port authority is a governmental commission given the task of managing and constructing port facilities. Port authorities of most countries are given the task of developing projects such as building docks, boat facilities, piers, fisheries, and warehouses for storing goods in transit while in the sea.
Turkey has several port authorities assigned the task of managing its ports. The Port Authority of Bodrum manages Bodrum port. Canakkale Port is managed by the Canakkale Port Authority; while Alanya Port is managed by the Alanya Port Authority. These ports obtain funds for managing port facilities from taxes imposed to ships under their management, boat slip fees, fundraising activities, such as festivals and fairs and from government funding (Stopford, 2009). Port authorities also have the responsibility of developing waterfront areas for commercial, recreational and industrial uses.
The Port of Rotterdam is one of the biggest ports in Europe. The Port Authority of Rotterdam manages it. This authority has the responsibility of developing, managing and operating Rotterdam Port and its industrial area. Recently, it has invested in new port sites such as Maasvlakte 2. Furthermore, this port plays the role of developing the infrastructure around the port in an attempt of improving how its handles goods from other countries. The Port Authority of London manages the Port of London. It has the responsibility of managing all the terminals located in this port as well as dredging and diving services.
The Port Authority of New York has the responsibility of managing the Port of New York, which is considered to be the most active port in the United States. This port has engaged in export activities for the United States since the1950s. The Port Authority of New York was responsible for the construction of Newark airport, La Guardia and John F. Kennedy airports. Moreover, it was responsible for constructing the Goethals Bridge and the Outerbridge Crossing that linked New York to New Jersey, thus promoting trade activities between these two cities.
Shipbuilding involves construction of ships and other floating vessels. Shipwrights construct these vessels in facilities known as shipyards. The shipbuilding industry is strong in Japan, South Korea, and China. The strongest shipbuilding companies in Japan and South Korea include: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries. Most countries prefer procuring ships from these countries since they have big companies that have invested heavily in the research and development in order to help in ensuring marine security.
The European shipbuilding industry is the global leader in the construction of vessels such as mega-yachts, dredgers, ferries, and cruise ships. The biggest shipyards in Europe are located in Stettin and Gdynia in Poland and Chantiers de L'Atlantique in France (Lun, Lai, & Cheng, 2010). Other shipyards include: Lisnave, Kvaerner Masa Turku, and Hellenic Shipyards. Big shipbuilding companies in Europe include: Naval Shipbuilding North West, Croatian Shipbuilding Corporation, and Wartsila Corporation.
According to the statistics released by the European Union, the shipbuilding industry has employed about 120,000 local and foreign citizens. These employees mainly concentrate in manufacturing large diesel systems, propulsion and safety systems for the handling of cargo. Shipbuilding companies are adopting the trend of using environmental friendly means while designing their ships. Most companies are designing the engine systems of their ships so that they further reduce their emissions in order to reduce environmental pollution and comply with environment protection requirements. Furthermore, they are designing their ships by using cost efficient materials in an attempt of reducing their ship building costs.
Marine tourism is defined as tourism oriented activities performed at the sea with the use of marine vessels and occupational activities that support this form of tourism. Occupational activities that support marine tourism include cruiser and ferry boat operations, daily leisure boat operations, bareboat operations, diving tourism, water sport and slipway operations.
Marine tourism in Turkey is mainly strong in yacht tourism and coast tourism. Yacht tourism takes place in Karatas, which is a major fishing port. The yacht berth and slipway in Karatas is attractive to tourists since it has good dining facilities, good shopping malls, and quality provision of water and electricity of all the hotels in this region (Luck, 2008).
In England, marine tourism has been strong in the recent years. Scarborough Sea Life & Marine Sanctuary in North Yorkshire experiences a large number of visits of tourists from all over the world. In this sanctuary, seal pups are rescued and released to the sea. Furthermore, tourists walk through underwater tunnel where they are able to see seals, penguins and sharks swimming.
The governments of countries engaged in marine tourism earn foreign exchange and revenues, thus contributing to their overall economic growth. Moreover, this form of tourism helps in protecting extinct marine life, thus contributing to a balance in the ecosystem. If marine tourism is not managed well, it may increase pollution in the sea, hence causing loss of biodiversity.
Natural Resources in Marine Sector
Natural resources in the marine sector include physical sources. Biological resources include marine life and all the products they secret. Examples of natural resources include the fishing industry, the sand industry, and the oil industry.
The fishing industry is concerned with culturing, processing, taking, storing, and selling fish or fish products. This industry is divided into three sectors that include the commercial sector, recreation and traditional sectors. Industries dealing in the commercial sector catch fish in large quantities with an aim of selling. Industries dealing in the recreational sector only catch fish for sport activities or recreation. China is the largest commercial fish producer in the whole world. Fishing is mainly carried out in the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and the Bohai Sea. The main species of fish caught in these areas include club mackerel, black scraper, hairtail, and shrimps. China is also involved in aquaculture. In 2005, its aquaculture production was about $39.8 billion. The main species of fish produced by China’s aquaculture are cyprinus carpio, Japanese kelp, pacific cupped oyster, and wakame (Erickson, Goldstein & Li, 2010). Pescanova is the world’s largest fishing company. It has a wide logistics platform, and this has enabled it to distribute fish throughout the globe. Sajo Industries Company Limited is another big fishing company located in South Korea. It is mainly involved in deep sea fishery. It operates Tuna long liner, Allaska Pollack traw,l and squid nettings.
Sand industry is also boosted by natural resources from the maritime sector. The British Marine Aggregate Producers Association is involved in the extraction of sand from the English coasts. It supplies about 20 million tones of gravel each year. The gravel, sand, and crushed rocks produced by this industry are used to construct real estate projects, such as houses, hospitals bridges, and roads (Stopford, 2009). Extraction of sand from the marine sector has created employment for many people. Engineers operating the dredgers that extract the sand from the shore are offered direct form of employment from this sector. In addition to this, drivers transporting sand from the companies extracting sand from the sea coast also get a source of income. Examples of the sand mining companies in the United States of America include Ed Berens-Minnesota and Wisconsin Franc Sand Logistics, Aggregate Industries and Farm2Rail Inc.
Oil and Gas Industry
The oil and gas industry is involved in the refinement, production, exploration, and distribution of oil and gas. The biggest oil and gas companies are Chevron Corporation, Exxon Mobile, Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Qatar General Petroleum Corporation, and Shell Group. Offshore oil and gas production accounts for about 30% of the total global production of oil and gas. According to the statistics released by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), there are about 6,500 offshore oil and gas installations. About 4,000 of these installations are located in the United States Gulf of Mexico, 950 in Asia, 700 in the Middle East, and 400 in Europe (World Bank Publications, 2012). However, marine oil and gas exploration and extraction have significant negative effects on the environment. Sometimes the companies extracting oils from the sea spill crude oil into it. In addition to this, these companies emit toxic fumes that sometimes seep into the ocean.
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