Growth in Intra-Asia Trade Seen to Drive Global Freight Industry
GUANGZHOU, China, Nov. 12 (Reuters) - Intra-Asia trade will be the lynchpin for the global shipping industry in the near term as the West slowly recovers from the financial crisis, senior maritime executives said.
Led by growing consumer consumption in China and India, intra-Asia trade has remained resilient despite a huge dropoff in overall freight traffic over the last two years.
''Boosted by the expansion of China's domestic market, intra-Asia trade was able to reduce the impact of an economic recession,'' said Bronson Hsieh, chairman of Taiwan's Evergreen Marine at an industry conference.
''There is no question that intra-Asia trade will be the focal point of the shipping industry in the future.''
Asia's economies are in the driving seat, with the IMF expecting China's economy to grow 9.6 percent next year and India to expand by 8.4 percent.
The IMF forecasts economic growth in Asia at 6.7 percent in 2011, compared with 1.8 percent in Europe and 2.3 percent in the United States.
A reduction in import tariffs between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has boosted trade between the two by 47 percent to $185 billion within the first eight months of this year. …