Industry and globalisation

Summary of the 105th Meeting of the Council Working Party on Shipbuilding (WP6)


At its 105th meeting held on 10-11 December 2007, the Council Working Party on Shipbuilding considered the following items:

Election of Officers of the Working Party

The WP6 finalised the election of the Bureau of the WP6, which is now composed of:

  • Chairman:  Ambassador Harald Neple (Norway)
  • Vice-Chairmen:
    • Mr José-Esteban Pérez (Spain)
    • Mr Shinichiro Otsubo (Japan)
    • Dr Sung Cheong Kang (Korea)

Sector Understanding on Export Credits for Ships (SSU)

The WP6 agreed to commence work on a number of issues listed in the Sector Understanding for Ships, and created an informal expert group to undertake this work.  More details are available here.

Inventory of subsidies and other support measures

Delegates discussed a detailed Inventory of subsidies and other support measures provided by governments to their shipbuilding industries was created using information provided by both OECD and some non-OECD governments.  As this information was provided on a confidential basis, the Inventory is not available for public release, but may eventually be declassified.

The second part, which will provide an analysis of the data collected, will be considered by WP6 Delegates at its next meeting on 3-4 July 2008.

Factors affecting the structure of the world shipbuilding industry

Delegates considered a report that discussed the economic importance of the shipbuilding industry, as well as a number of factors that affect the structure of that industry, particularly as evidenced by the increasing trend to direct and indirect investment in foreign yards.  This project included a questionnaire that was sent to governments and industry to gauge (in a non-empirical way) their views on the relative importance of various factors and characteristics.

From economic perspective, Governments considered the following attributes to be the most important, generation of employment, contribution to industrial capacity and enhancement of technical and technological capability.

From the industry perspective, lower production costs, better access to key markets and the availability of land and infrastructure were the principal reason for their move into foreign yards.

The WP6 agreed that this issue would be one of the principal items for discussion at the next Workshop with non-OECD economies planned for December 2008.

Proposal on Workshop with non-OECD economies

This workshop will be held in December 2008, and it is anticipated that all of the major non-OECD economies with significant shipbuilding activities will be invited.

While the final programme for the Workshop has still to be decided, the broad themes for the three planned sessions are likely to be:

  • Session 1 - Supply/Demand forecasts and historical price developments
  • Session 2 - Changing structure of the world shipbuilding industry
  • Session 3 – Government policy responses to those market and industry changes

Programme of Work for 2009-10

For planning purposes, the WP6 gave some preliminary consideration to possible work items to be included in the Programme of Work for the period 2009-10. The list of items that will be compiled following this initial consideration by the WP6 will be prioritised by Delegates, and this will then form the basis of the final draft Programme of Work for consideration by the WP6 during 2008.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Council Working Party on Shipbuilding will be held in Paris on 3-4 July 2008.

For further information please contact Mr Danny Scorpecci at


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