Monday, August 5, 2013

Political Switch and Resources Decree a Growth Area for Logistics and Freight Interests

Ships Services Group Explain 'Why Now?' for their New Venture
Shipping News Feature

MYANMAR – NORWAY – With the opening up of the former Burma, numerous freight and logistics interests are scrambling to establish a presence in the region, and Norwegian headquartered Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS) has opened a first office with the intention of becoming a key provider to the country’s port, shipping and offshore service sectors, the latter growing rapidly due to the regions rich natural resources.

Following the official opening earlier this year, the new Wilhelmsen office is now fully operational. To ensure that the needs of clients in the country are met, the company has brought in Business Development Manager Wai-phyo Naing who will also be looking towards the safety service market, and with demand for Fire Rescue and Safety (FRS) services and liferafts likely to increase over the coming months. Mr Naing, commented:

“Cost saving and the availability of supplies in their home port of Yangon is the main priority for most of our customers. With this in mind, we are pleased to be able to offer a service ‘on the ground’ in Myanmar. We are currently building up our infrastructure in order to effectively offer our products and services to the government-owned fleet of just under twenty five vessels, as well as oil majors operating in the area and international customers calling at Yangon Port.

“The local market is highly competitive, but we are confident that the WSS global network, our high levels of local presence and support, as well as wide range of high quality marine products and services and environmentally compliant products will allow us to meet, and indeed, exceed, customer requirements.”

Bjorn Tonsberg, WSS Vice President, Asia Pacific, explained why Wilhelmsen believes that the country is now considered a key area and the timing of this move by the company, saying:

“With borders to China, Thailand, India, Laos and Bangladesh, Myanmar has strategic regional importance. We have been looking to expand into the country for some time, but it was necessary to wait until the market conditions were favourable. This is a high-growth market and we believe that the right time is now.

“The market does not expect to see a significant increase in vessels calling at Myanmar this year. However; increased exploration activities are expected in the offshore and energy industry with the continued presence of oil and gas majors. Also, there are signs of increased trading with Japan, Europe and the US.”