09-10/2015 Around the world in 70 days
Asia is one of the regions we focus on in this issue, which is highly appropriate in the light of the fact that the Chinese new year began on 19 February this year. Asean, formed by the ten countries Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam is planning to become an even closer-knit integrated economic area by the end of this year (see also page 25). Local media have reported that the concept of an Asean Economic Community (AEC) is partially still rather unknown in some of Asean’s member countries, it is true. The same cannot be said for Europe – as the EU’s economic association is a model for the AEC. This may also be down to the fact that many firms from the old continent believe they have a chance of establishing a stronger presence in the Far East.
Besides Asean, China is – and will remain – an important regional engine. Even if the latter’s economic growth has stuttered a bit of late, the People’s Republic is still one of the most important global trade players. In 2014 there were several Chinese hubs ranked amongst the ten largest container ports worldwide again. Shanghai stayed the leader when it comes to handling steel boxes.
So hardly anyone in the transport industry can get anywhere without going via Asia. Reason enough for us to hone our profile locally too – you can meet us at the Breakbulk China trade fair in Shanghai in March, or during Singapore’s Maritime Week in April. Beyond that, destinations in Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and South Africa have been pencilled into our travel itineraries up to the end of April.
Before that, however, we will be happy to get a big dose of our local Fasnacht celebrations (carnival) here in Basel, the home of the ITJ.
Wherever we meet up – we are already looking forward to seeing you!
Antje Hanna Veregge