Asia-Pacific Yacht Industry High-Level Forum 2020

An integral part of the Macau Yacht Show, in recent years the Asia-Pacific Yacht Industry High-Level Forum has become a key platform for connecting China to the international boating community. Wang Yong, General Manager for the Nam Kwong Group, a mainland Chinese Enterprise which has over 70 years’ experience in operating extensive tourism and leisure platforms in Macau, said in his welcome speech, “the Forum is a great opportunity for the industry to come together to exchange ideas and work together to build a marine culture in the Greater Bay Area (GBA)” - the theme for this year’s presentations.

Due to travel restrictions the Forum was a combination of live and virtual presentations, with speakers making live presentations in Macau and Hong Kong, and the other four speakers giving online presentations from China, Australia and Switzerland. Bi-lingual live streaming is a unique aspect of this forum, and the three sessions focused on:

  1. Development of Boating in the GBA
  2. Cooperation of Yachting Industry and Financial institutions in the GBA
  3. Marine Economy in GBA.

MC Jose Chan Rodrigues in Macau, and MC Andrea Richey in Hong Kong, directed proceedings, with each of the eight speakers giving a 10min presentation in which they shared their expert knowledge and insights into how yachting can develop in the GBA.

Fabiomassimo Discoli (Ferretti Group APAC) was the first to present. He talked about the strength and diversity of the Ferretti Group, which is 86% owned by the Weichai Group, a major mainland manufacturing corporation. Ferretti Group is one of the world's largest luxury yacht manufacturers, and is headquartered in Italy where the six Italian shipyards specialise in the design, construction, and sale of luxury motor yachts ranging from 8 to 90 metres in length. Discoli believes Ferretti Group is well placed to promote yachting in China and the GBA.

Second speaker Lawrence Chow (Hong Kong Boating Industry Association) described the established boating markets of Hong Kong and Macau and their relevance to the GBA as key boating hubs in the region. Chow believes that the  developed marine infrastructure, mature boating market and beautiful cruising grounds makes Hong Kong the perfect cruising hub in the GBA. However, work needs to be done in the areas of Government advocacy: standardised boat regulations, simplified CIQ processes and more moorings for visiting yachts in Hong Kong is necessary to develop boating in the GBA.

The final speaker for Session 1 was Stuart Hu (Sanya Central Business District) who outlined the new developments in Hainan - which is now designated as a Free Trade Zone (FTZ). Hu, who is now based in Sanya, is working to opening up new boating opportunities that encompass a wide range of marine activities including charter, yacht manufacturing, refit and repairs. 

Session 2 explored the cooperation of the yachting industry with financial institutions in the GBA. In Hong Kong, Raphael Beaudrey (Rosemont Trustee (Asia) Ltd highlighted the complexities facing superyacht owners, and the role that Family Wealth Management companies can play. Issues such as statutory and regulatory compliance, crew training, insurance, safety and security all need to be managed: with integrated multi-family office supervision and support the process of owning a superyacht is substantially streamlined. 

Olivier Blanchet (BNP Paribas Wealth Management HK) continued with the finance theme by explaining the role of Private Banking in yacht and jet financing. Blanchet outlined the importance of getting the right advice when investing in such high-value and high-profile acquisitions, and how the GBA could become the Asia hub for superyachts in the future, given the growing numbers of HNWIs in the region.

Session 3 focused on the Marine Economy in the GBA, and Legal Counsel Edwin Liu (Hill Dickinson) explored how the three jurisdictions of Hong Kong, Macau and the GBA can cooperate and develop a synergy based on the extensive marine market that already exists in this region. Liu suggested that Hong Kong, with its unique strength as an international centre for finance, trade and shipping, can serve as a super-connector by bridging the GBA and the rest of China to the international market.

Leah Trafford (SailGP) from Australia discussed the economic impact of the SailGP event that was hosted in Sydney in February 2020. The high profile and dynamic sailing series is a major game changer in bringing awareness of the sport of sailing to the general public, and in developing marine markets of the GBA. Outlining the media and brand deliverables and the ability to engage a new boating audience, SailGP provides global multi-platform coverage to destinations around the world.

Final speaker Huan Wen (Chairman, Yacht Industry Association of GBA) had the important role of updating the audience on the latest initiatives being outlined in the  China Central Government’s 5-year programme for the development of boating in the GBA. Changes are being made to policies and regulations concerning private yachts cruising in the region, and reforms are being made to yacht registration, aimed at streamlining procedures and make boating safer and more affordable in the region. The GBA will be the testing zone for many of these policies with the aim growing both the domestic boating market in China and connecting the global yachting community to the GBA.

The Macau Yacht Show and the Asia-Pacific Yacht Industry High-Level Forum are annual events organised by the Nam Kwong International Conference and Exhibition Co. Ltd, China National Machinery Industry Corporation Co. Ltd, and the China Ocean Aviation Group Ltd, and co-organised by the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute.

The Macau Yacht Show 2020 was held in conjunction with two other major exhibitions also organised by the Nam Kwong Group concurrently: the China (Macau) International Automobile Import and Exposition, held at the Venetian; and the Macau Business Aviation Exhibition at Macau international Airport.

English Online video link:

Asia Yacht Press Ltd was the conference organiser for the Asia-Pacific Yacht Industry High-Level Forum 2020. For more information please contact Suzy Rayment on

By Suzy Rayment / Asia Yacht Press

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