Gold Coast trade show a win for local marine exports
The Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show, a new initiative by the Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) and AIMEX has attracted international buyers and a potential boom for local businesses and products.
Bringing together local and international visitors, last week’s four day trade show allowed local manufacturers the chance to meet with buyers from Taiwan, Brazil, USA, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand.
Gold Coast City Council economic development and tourism committee chair, councillor Jan Grew, said the show was an integral event for local marine manufacturers.
“Each year, the boat show plays an important role in attracting visitors to the city and showcasing the outstanding facilities and marine infrastructure that exists here,” Grew said.
AIMEX CEO MaryAnne Edwards praised the initiative and the cooperation from the Mayor of the Gold Coast, Tom Tate, who attended the event, and the GCCC for the already positive results from local exporters despite global demand within the marine sector being down.
“This type of support is the most practical support the council can be giving the marine sector in this economy with the dollar making it hard to compete and the high cost of manufacturing reducing margins,” Edwards said.
“Bringing buyers in provides many of the smaller manufacturers, who cannot afford to attend international trade shows or even the time to leave their business, an amazing opportunity,” she added.
According to Aqualuma Marine Lighting director Carl Amor, bringing real buyers and distributors in who already have key markets and channels for Australian products is the best injection the council could give local manufacturers.
It has been reported a number of key Gold Coast manufacturers have already made direct sales since the boat show and are continuing to develop international relationships.
Edwards has estimated immediate returns were likely around $450,000 with longer term returns to be well in excess of $2 million dollars over the next 12 months.
“With initiatives like this the sales are not always instant but the relationships have started and we will see significant economic returns for the Gold Coast from this project,” Edwards said.