Mercator Media Limited’s Seawork Asia exhibition will take place in Shanghai, China from 29 November to 1st December 2016, but what exactly is Seawork Asia?

Seawork Asia is the fastest growing commercial marine and workboat exhibition in the Asian region, and the sister event to Europe’s leading commercial marine and workboat exhibition, Seawork International (held every June in Southampton, UK).

Since its launch in 2014 the event has proved itself to be a key meeting point for buyers and decision makers. 80% of visitors authorise or influence the purchasing decisions of companies they represent; presenting a unique opportunity for businesses to enter, build and maintain their market positions in China and the East Asian Region.

Held in Shanghai, a strategically important gateway, Seawork Asia provides valuable links to East Asia. No other maritime event in Asian region compares as a platform for showcasing international maritime products, brands and services, combined with an on-site conference and an evening banquet.

Seawork Asia is where buyers, sellers, influencers and legislators come together every two years, all keen to exploit the rapidly expanding Asian commercial marine market.

Brands can associate with Seawork’s great reputation, engaging with a key sector audience, utilising organisers’ Mercator Media’s unique commercial marine database.

The show has proved itself to be the ideal platform for world-renowned maritime brands and organisations from sectors including:

  • Vessel design, build, repair or maintenance
  • Marine contracting and vessel services
  • Marine civil engineering and construction, dredging and coastal development
  • Marine renewables including wind farm operations
  • Port and vessel security and defence
  • Commercial diving, underwater technology and hydrography
  • Commercial fishing and aquaculture
  • Finance, legal and insurance matters
  • Recruitment, training, crew transfer and safety

The inaugural Seawork Asia generated exhibitor interest from China, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Thailand, UK and the US. Seawork Asia 2014 attracted more than 5,000 visitors from 12 countries to the event, with over 200 delegates who attended the inaugural Seawork Asia forum.

The event is held at one of China’s leading event centres, the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Centre (SWEECC), which has a full range of event and conference facilities, including 8,500m2 of dedicated exhibition halls, meeting facilities and private rooms for meetings or product launches.

Seawork Asia attracts visitors from Asia and surrounding regions, including:

  • Vessel owners, workboat operators & fleet managers
  • Commercial boat builder representatives
  • Ministries of Defence, military and governmental purchasers and influencers
  • Naval architects, surveyors and marine consultants
  • Police, fire and rescue authorities
  • Marine civil engineers & consultants
  • Commercial diving & fishing contractors
  • Marine insurance brokers & financial institutions
  • Harbourmasters & port personnel operators

The event features a series of maritime pavilions and trails to help visitors make best use of their time and identify exhibitors, products, services and seminars of particular interest. As well as enhancing the experience of visitors this means exhibitors will benefit from a more targeted approach to their promotion.

Seawork Asia’s forum hosts topical seminars providing insights into industry-specific innovations, fresh business opportunities and emerging legislations. The forum will enhance the three-day exhibition, where industry leading speakers will share their knowledge of the existing commercial marine and workboat market.

“This is the first dedicated commercial marine exhibition to be held in mainland China and Shanghai is one of the region’s key destination cities. It presents an amazing opportunity for companies to create and research business in the heart of this fast growing, vibrant, East Asia marine market," said Andrew Webster, chief executive, Mercator Media.

Shanghai is at the centre of the fast growing East Asian commercial marine business, which has a vast coastline to develop and maintain. The demand for marine civil engineering, workboats and floating plant, together with the equipment and services that keep them in operation is forecast to grow at double figure rates for the next 20 years.

This rapid increase in marine activity will also require a wide range of support services such as coastguard, patrol, safety and navigation.

Seawork Asia focuses on the future potential of the workboat market in the region. The exhibition offers three days of networking opportunities with both exhibitors and visitors anticipated to attend from across Asia and all over the world. Delegates will have the opportunity to participate in discussions with like-minded individuals in order to gain more in-depth knowledge of industry trends and insights.

The inaugural event in 2014 came just at the right time according to delegates, the future of the work boat market in China and the region has great potential going forward.

Mr Huang Pingtao from the China Shipbuilding Engineering Society, commented that the work boat sector was highly important for the country's future.

UK Trade and Investment representative, Stewart Gorman, commented that Seawork Asia was of a very high standard, in part due to the experience co-organisers had gained from its sister exhibition aimed at the European commercial marine market, Seawork International, which will hold its 20th edition in June 2017. He said he believed that both events will grow and achieve great success in the future.

On the first day, the Seawork Asia Forum proved an important part of the event with over 200 professional delegates attending. The main content of the forum related to demand analysis from different parts of the Chinese government and new technology and developments within the ship building and workboat industry.

In his presentation, Mr Zhou Xiaolu, director of ship management at the Ministry of Logistical Equipment China Sea Police, said that the future of the work boat market in China and the region has great potential. He also commented that Seawork Asia had been held at just the right time to take advantage of this burgeoning market.

The exhibition is free of charge to enter, but all guests must register. You can save time queueing by pre-registering at
Find out more about the event at

By Jake Frith