The objective of the Workshop on Market Distorting Factors in the Shipbuilding Sector was to undertake a fact-finding exercise to assess factors distorting the shipbuilding sector, through:
- Taking into account developments in the market since the negotiations were paused in 2005.
- Establishing the current existence of market distorting factors in the shipbuilding industry, including through the examination of the updated Inventory of Support Measures; and
- If no market distorting factors are found to exist, examining what has changed since the last round of negotiations, and discussing what makes shipbuilding different from other industry sectors where such factors potentially exist.
The Workshop was divided into three sessions:
Session A: Developments in the market since 2005
Developments since the negotiations were paused in 2005 that could be important in the context of possible market distortions could be considered from three different perspectives:
- The global economic crisis;
- Changes in the structure of the world’s shipbuilding sector; and
- Market changes (demand, supply, new orders etc).
Session B: Consideration of the updated Inventory of Support Measures and other potentially distorting factors
The purpose of this session was to examine actual factors in the market that could be market distorting.
The principal source of this information was the updated Inventory of Support Measures, which covers data up to the last quarter of 2009.
This session also provided an opportunity for participants to exchange views and information on factors that distort the market.
Session C: Conclusions
This session provided participants with an opportunity to consider the material collected and discussions undertaken in the earlier sessions, and addressed these key issues:
- Are there currently any market distorting factors in the shipbuilding industry?
- If not, what has changed from when such factors did exist, and what might be the characteristics of this market to allow this situation to occur?
- Would an Agreement be helpful in dealing with such market distorting factors if they exist now or were to exist in the future?
- Could greater transparency improve understanding, and how could this be achieved?