14th, October, 2004

Over 70 Delegates coming from 12 countries and representing the 33 most important shipbuilding companies in the world, gathered in Maastricht on October 14th 2004 on the occasion of the Annual Top Executives Meeting (JECKU 2004),under the chairmanship of Corrado Antonini, representing the hosting European shipbuilders.

The situation of the market was analyzed and the conclusion reached was that the present very positive evolution of demand should be used to learn from past negative experiences and act in a responsible way from the side of the supply. The modest improvement of prices deriving from this buoyant demand was not enough to ensure satisfactory results taking into account the weakening of the US Dollar against some other currencies as well as the sharp increasing in the cost of basic materials, such as steel.

Competing in the market does not necessarily impede the world’s shipbuilders to work together in other fields. In particular, the issue of product liability was addressed. The shipbuilding industry will also continue their efforts for safer and cleaner seas through their cooperation in the fight against substandard ships.

The permanent concern to achieve a level playing field in which shipbuilders could compete was also a matter of discussions and, to that end, the problems that the so-called New OECD Agreement is facing right now.

The JECKU meetings are a unique opportunity for the top shipbuilding executives to meet and exchange their views on the situation of the industry and to develop a common understanding and a better attitude towards it.

Next year meeting will be hosted by Chinese shipbuilders, for the first time, underlining the increasing presence of the People’s Republic of China in the world shipbuilding scene.