Growing economies boost Britain’s maritime industry
Monday, 30 April 2012 | 11:00
The value of Britain’s sea trade is expected to be worth £700bn by 2017 as the rising middle classes in fast-growing economies boost demand, according to new research.
The report by insurer RSA and the Centre for Economics and Business Research said sea trade is currently worth £513bn, having risen 32pc over the past decade.
Inflation has played a large role in driving up values according to the report, including rising oil prices.
“This rapid rise in the value of goods shipped in and out of our ports represents a real renaissance for maritime Britain,” said Anj Chadha, global cargo development manager at RSA.
The bullish forecast comes despite a downturn in Britain’s shipping industry, which has seen ship yards building new vessels at a rate designed to meet global demand that has not materialised.
Analysts at Fitch expect world demand and global trade to start picking up from 2014 but Britain will have to compete with other advanced nations to sell its goods to faster-growing economies.
According to the RSA/CEBR report while Europe will remain Britain’s biggest sea trading partner, Asia has already overtaken North Ame¬rica to take second place.
It said the value of goods shipped between the UK and Asia and Oceania grew by 23pc over the past decade, while trade with North America fell by 19pc. RSA and CEBR forecast a boom in South American and African sea trade with shipping to and from rising by 68pc and 43pc respectively by 2017.
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