Representatives of the Australian market plan a measured, strategic advance into new markets, while strengthening those that already exist.

The attitude was one of cooperation and the mood was determined, focused and sharp as the Australian superyacht industry planned its future steps at ASMEX 2013.

The central theme of the day was cohesion; working together as a country to overcome legislative brakes on forward momentum, working together as a nation to open up new markets and share insight on the  best approach in doing business with them, and working together as a region to bring superyacht visitors to Australia, New Zealand and the greater South Pacific.

After the official opening by AIMEX president, Richard Chapman, MaryAnne Edwards, chief executive of AIMEX and Superyacht Australia took to the floor to give her members the crucial information they need to break into the lucrative – and neighbouring – Asian markets. But not with the intention of grabbing new consumers.

As Erwin Bamps, COO of Gulf Craft, pointed out later in the day, Asian markets may be growing exponentially but that growth is an improvement on markets that were very small to begin with. Growth is great, but it’s not enough (at present) to make up for the lag in European markets.

Instead, what Edwards urged the Australian industry to do was explore whether offshore markets – she cited Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand – and explained that information was the key to unlocking opportunity in the region. Those opportunities include a dramatically lower minimum wage than in Australia and tax benefits, but making a strategic move offshore, she stressed, could only be successful if a company had carried out due diligence in identifying the risk factors in operating in each new market.

Other topics covered included the effect each global market has on the Australian industry, strategies to better partner with New Zealand to achieve greater clout in the international arena and marketing strategies in a new media environment.

The real take away from the day though, is that Australia is in prime position to move forward and take up her place on the world superyacht industry stage.

As Ed Slack, editor of IBI said, “the greatest commodity in our industry is confidence – and it’s been in short supply in Europe.”

Australia’s industry is buoyed by steely determination, a sense of moving forward as a powerful cohesive force and a quiet, but very real, confidence.


ASMEX 2013 was staged just before the 25 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show and incorporated the 2013 Club Marine Australian Marine Industry Export and Superyacht Awards. ASMEX ended on 22 May.

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