European Shipyards, Equipment Manufacturers Call for EU Protection from Covid-19 Crisis

European shipyards and maritime equipment manufacturers are urging the European Union to protect the sector from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic amid looming demand drop for specific ship types, including passenger ships, dredgers, and offshore supply vessels.
European Shipyards, Equipment Manufacturers Call for EU Protection from Covid-19 Crisis

The shipbuilding sector has sustained a major blow from production halts, temporary layoffs as well as arising liquidity issues, Sea Europe, a shipyards’ and maritime equipment association, said.

Furthermore, orders for new ships and retrofitting are being postponed amid cost-cutting measures employed by owners.

“Europe risks to lose its strategic maritime technology sector to Asia, whilst European shipyards and maritime equipment manufacturers are key for the European Green Deal, for Europe’s Blue Economy and mobility, for Europe’s defence, security and autonomy and for Europe’s access to seas and trade of goods and passengers,” says Kjersti Kleven, SEA Europe’s chairwoman.

“Such a loss would make Europe entirely dependent on Asia for the design, building, repair, retrofitting, and equipment of civilian ships, with devastating effects for Europe’s autonomy, defence, and security, maritime economy and workforce.”

SEA Europe welcomed the recent horizontal initiatives from the European Commission in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, as they try to minimize the impact of this crisis for all European industries.

However, the association urged the commission to introduce sectoral policies and financial support tailored to the specific needs of Europe’s shipyards and maritime equipment industry in order to mitigate the severe consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak and safeguard the survival of the sector.

Europe’s maritime technology sector is particularly vulnerable as it is considerably export-oriented and highly dependent on global macro-economic trends, trade volumes, and market sentiments.

Apr 7, 2020 20:06
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