BY APB Staff on 12 May 2022

The new ICOMIA Asia Working Group will provide international leadership and guidance on issues concerning the development of the region's leisure marine industry

The International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) has confirmed that it launched a new ICOMIA Asia Working Group (IAWG), following the first members’ meeting at the end of February this year.

“The formation of the IAWG marks the strong potential of growth for the boating industry in Asia,” says Lawrence Chow, ICOMIA Asia Working Group Chair. “ICOMIA Members will now have access to key insights and developments in Asia. In parallel, the IAWG would be an ideal platform to spread the experience gathered from the various ICOMIA committees to emerging markets in Asia — inspiring different markets to set up their own Marine Industry Associations in the future.”

In its announcement, the council explains that Asia is geographically expansive and diverse in its cultures, commercial markets and political systems. However, the recreational marine market in most of this region remains immature with the exception of Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.

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Obstacles to the effective development of the leisure marine sector in Asia that are commonly cited include key fundamentals and frameworks relating to government policy and regulatory framework, infrastructure, financial framework and business development.

These topics have been on the agenda for decades but Asia’s stakeholders have not been able to achieve traction on common issues such as those relating to regional cooperation, e.g border agreements and Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine Procedures “CIQP”.

The council says a key takeaway from the last Asia Boating Dialogue was that an organised collective, driven by stakeholders in the region, is needed to move the industry’s agenda forward.

The mission of the new ICOMIA Asia Working Group includes providing international leadership and guidance on issues concerning the development of the leisure marine industry through discussion, research and networking.

The Group is currently working on the following projects:

Promoting the International Certificate for Operators of Pleasure Craft (ICC) licenses in Asia in order to boost the charter industry in the region; Grow Boating – implementing the latest grow boating campaigns and strategies in Asia; Promoting the Regulatory Reference Guide (RRG), which provides information on rules and regulations affecting the recreational marine industry around the globe, and is an invaluable tool when setting up key fundamentals and frameworks in place.

The ICOMIA Asia Working Group will represent the Asia region, supporting ICOMIA’s global and regional (Asia-focus) plans and initiatives. Current group members consist of the Hainan Marine Trade Exchange Service Centre (HNMTES) in China, The Hong Kong Boating Industry Association, the Japan Marine Industry Association, the Singapore Boating Industry Association, Korea International Boat Show in South Korea, the Boat Building Technology Improvement Institute in Sri Lanka, the Taiwan Yacht Industry Association and the Thai Yachting Business Association.

All ICOMIA members with an interest in Asia are welcome to join the group.