SINGAPORE - After four years, Asia Pacific Maritime, South-east Asia's biennial maritime trade show, will be held in person at Marina Bay Sands next month, with 7,000 attendees from around the world set to attend.
The event, from March 16 to 18, will be the region's first large-scale maritime trade show since the pandemic struck.
It is also one of just two recognised international fairs that have been confirmed to take place here this year, with the other being the ongoing Singapore Airshow at the Changi Exhibition Centre.
The maritime exhibition connects international maritime suppliers with buyers from South-east Asia, with companies expected to showcase their latest inventions.
The projected 7,000 visitors will be about half of the 14,000 in 2018.
Organiser RX said on Wednesday (Feb 16) that all participants must be fully vaccinated and do a daily on-site pre-event Covid-19 test, which will be complimentary.
All registered trade professionals will be granted free access to conference sessions, which used to be payable.
Contactless technologies will also be used to provide a safe environment for all attendees.
RX's group project director Yeow Hui Leng said: "Meeting face to face is exceptionally essential for maritime professionals. While digitalisation has evolved at a rapid speed due to the pandemic, it can't replace the human touch, the joy of spontaneous face-to-face discussions, or the ability to demo or touch and feel the products on display.
"Such interactions can facilitate closing of deals and drive industry growth."
Exhibiting companies include well-known ones such as ZF, Weichai, Volvo, MTU, and Kohler.
Discussions will centre around Asia's container shipping, maritime cyber security and maritime technology and sustainability.
So far, more than 45 maritime executives have indicated that they will be present at the event, including Mr Claus Nehmzow, innovation adviser and former chief innovation officer of Singapore-headquartered Eastern Pacific Shipping, and Dr Shahrin Osman, director of German society Maritime Decarbonisation and Autonomy Centre of Excellence, DNV.
Mr Nehmzow said: "It is good to meet up with industry peers and colleagues. Asia Pacific Maritime shows the resilience of Singapore as a location where people can finally get together again. Singapore's high vaccination rate has made it possible."
Mr Chris Chatterton, chief operating officer of Methanol Institute, the global trade association for the methanol industry, said his goal at the fair will be to reconnect with industry players after such a long spell of limited personal interactions.
"The return of Asia Pacific Maritime sends a strong signal to the market that we are working towards a brighter, even more challenging future together, where collaboration and innovation will be paramount to success."
The fair is supported by the Maritime Port Authority and Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau. Registration is now open.
The Singapore Airshow, taking place now, is expecting about 13,000 people over four days, down from about 30,000 trade participants pre-pandemic. It ends on Friday.