Blue economy
Discover Global Markets
Discover Global Markets is the Department of Commerce's flagship event series for U.S. exporters. The next Discover Global Markets: The Blue Economy will be held in Providence, RI, September 20-22, 2022.

Discover Global Markets Resources

Discover Global Markets Resources

On this page you can find information on Discover Global Markets industry opportunities, market best prospect, and additional exporter and attendee resources. 

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Market Overviews

Our in-country, market experts have outlined their market landscapes including identifying trends, opportunities, best prospects and barriers to entry. 

Market Overview

  • Australia is the same size as the continental United States however has a warmer climate and 90% of the population live within 50 miles of the ocean.​
  • Australia is a significant economy by world standards. Although Australia is home to just 0.3% of the world’s population, it accounts for 1.6% of the global economy.​
  • The Australian Blue Economy has more than doubled in the past 10 years and growth is projected to continue.​
  • American companies benefit from a similar business culture and common language in the Australian market.​
  •  Promotional materials are easily transferrable and American-made products are highly regarded.

Market Entry

  • Working with a local agent, distributor or representative is recommended for this market.​
  • Commercial Service Australia is a conduit to the market and can offer all manner of export assistance and resources. We welcome informal discussions to commence the process. ​
  • Attending trade shows in the region is an excellent opportunity to network with local distributors and partners. 

Market Trends

  • The recreational marine sector is strong in this region. Australia has the 2nd largest U.S. market for recreational marine outside of North America.​
  • Demand exceeds supply for marine vessels. ​
  • The government is prioritizing research and investment in marine renewable projects, particularly offshore wind power development.​
  • Australia has shown to possess a resilient economy in the face of COVID-19 and the overall trends in the marine industry are very healthy.

Competition/Barriers to Entry

  • Australia is geographically distant from the United States therefore freight and shipping costs may be higher than in other markets. ​
  • The Australian market is highly regulated with a rigid enforcement of standards. ​

Best Prospects

  • Recreational marine products & services.​
  • Marine renewable technologies.​
  • Port digitization & green port technologies.

​Specific Opportunities/Projects of Note

  • Bass Strait Offshore wind power development project.

Market Overview

  • Europe has a large blue economy with an annual turnover of € 658 billion, with Belgium as a leader.​
  • Belgium currently ranks 6th in the world for installed offshore wind power capacity.​
  • Currently, Belgium has committed to 27% renewable energy by 2030, this represents an increase from 8% in 2020 and has government support.​
  • The Belgian Blue Economy has more than doubled in the past 10 years and growth is projected to continue.​
  • American companies benefit from a strong international community from the EU’s center and partners with strong English language skills.

Market Trends

  • Belgium is expected to double its offshore wind capacity to 5.7 GW by 2030, with the current Minister of Energy supporting plans to increase this target to 8 GW. These plans also include renovating old wind farms to replace turbines with more efficient ones.​
  • 37% of the Belgian North Sea is designated as protected areas, making Belgium a leader in marine conservation and restoration (Europe averages 8% of its marine space as protected area).​
  • The North Sea contains huge deposits of high-quality sand that will continue to play an important role as construction demands continue to rise. It also contains shallow seabed that can provide great opportunities for underwater carbon storage.​
  • A number of Belgian companies have specialized in dredging and maritime infrastructure works (DEME, Jan de Nul). They have often received international acclaim for these works, such as with the Palm Islands in Dubai.

Market Entry

  • Working with a local agent, distributor or representative is recommended for this market.​
  • Commercial Service Belgium is a conduit to the market and can offer all manner of export assistance and resources. We welcome informal discussions to commence the process. ​
  • Belgium has a very active group called The Blue Cluster, supported by Flanders Investment and Trade, which connects over 60 companies to the blue economy and helps facilitate innovation and collaboration. 

Best Prospects

  • Offshore wind projects.​
  • Marine conservation.​
  • Underwater carbon deposits.​
  • High-quality sand excavation.​
  • Dredging and maritime infrastructure works.

Competition/Barriers

  • Belgium is geographically distant from the United States therefore freight and shipping costs should be considered. ​
  • The Belgian market is highly regulated with a rigid enforcement of standards. 

Specific Projects/Opportunities

  • WindEurope’s repowering of an existing offshore wind farm.​
  • A 3.5 GW expansion of offshore wind capacity in the ‘Princess Elisabeth’ zone.​
  • The Marine Spatial Plan (2020-2026) which outlines strong government and business support for conservation and marine preservation.

Market Overview

  • The United States and Canada enjoy the world’s largest and most comprehensive trading relationship that supports millions of jobs in each country and constitutes $1.6 trillion bilateral trade and investment.  
  • Canada has the 8th largest GDP by nominal and 15th largest GDP by PPP in the world and it is expected to grow stronger and more sustainable in the upcoming years.  
  • Canada’s coastline is the longest in the world, measuring in at approximately 151,000 miles, the 4th largest ocean territory and its rivers and lakes make up a fifth of the world’s surface water.  
  • The blue economy accounts for USD$24.5 billion annually in GDP and almost 300,000 Canadian jobs both directly and indirectly. 
  • The Government of Canada recognizes the blue economy’s importance to Canada and is engaging on developing a Blue Economy Strategy. 

Market Trends

  • Canada has made unprecedented investments in innovation, sustainability, and ocean protection.  This is evident through the development of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, an industry-led organization focusing on the industries operating in Canada’s oceans, including marine renewable energy, fishery, aquaculture, bioresources, offshore resources, defense, shipbuilding, transportation, and ocean technology. 
  • Canada’s main objective is to embrace a prosperous blue economy, while continuing to support the industries that have traditionally relied on the ocean and its resources.  

Market Entry

  • Visiting the country, establishing a strong local presence, and working with local agents is recommended. 
  • U.S Commercial Service in Canada is a good guide to the local market and can offer all manner of export assistance and resources.  
  • Attending trade shows in the region is an excellent opportunity to network with potential local distributors and partners. 

Best Prospects

  • Digital sensors and monitoring 
  • Autonomous marine vehicles 
  • Energy generation 
  • Automation 
  • Marine biotechnology 
  • Marine engineering technologies 

Competition/Barriers

  • Focus on the blue economy is new in Canada and therefore regulations and policies are still being updated to reflect the changes and advancements in this sector.   
  • The sector has difficulties attracting workers and investment, although this is slowly changing

Specific Projects/Opportunities

  • Montreal Port Authority’s Contrecoeur Port Terminal Expansion Project 
  • Digital Offshore Canada Project 
  • Ocean Startup Project 
  • Coastal Incident Management System (CIMS) Project 

Market Overview

  • Following global COVID-19 pandemic era economic trends, bilateral U.S.-India trade in goods and services contracted from $145.9 billion in 2019 to $121.8 billion in 2020.  
  • India was the United States’ 12th largest trading partner with sales of goods worth $44.8 billion in 2020. The United States remained India’s largest trading partner, with exports of goods to the United States worth $77 billion.  
  • For years, the United States has had a persistent trade deficit with India ($23.8 billion in 2020).  U.S.-India trade made up lost ground in 2021, with a 49.4 percent increase in U.S. goods exports to India year-to-date in July, compared with a 28 percent contraction in the same period in 2020. 
  • India’s  maritime sector is significant in size with 12 Major and 200+ Non-Major Ports situated along 4660 miles coastline and a network of navigable waterways.  
  • The sector plays a crucial role in India’s overall trade and growth, 95 percent of the country’s trade volume and 65 percent of the trade value is undertaken through the maritime transport. 
  • To propel the sector, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways formulated Maritime India Vision 2030 (MIV 2030). India envisions an overall investment of $45 billion across ports, shipping, and inland waterways categories by 2030.  
  • The goal is towards improving port infrastructure, efficiency, services, capacity building, logistics, ship building and promote a safe and sustainable “green” maritime sector.   

Market Trends

  • Innovative, green, and future ready technology products and solutions will have a leading edge in the Indian maritime sector. 
  • The Internationally benchmarked Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) standard adopted by many countries’ maritime sectors is driving the need in India to optimize and adhere to the standards. 
  • To align with these standards, eight areas have been identified to improve the safety and sustainability in India’s ports and maritime bodies.  1. Renewable Energy, 2. Air Quality Improvement, 3. Water Usage Optimization, 4. Improving Solid Waste Management, 5. Dredging Material Recycling, 6. Zero Accident Safety Program, 7. Occupational health management and 8. Centralized monitoring. 

Market Entry

  • Strategic planning, due diligence, consistent follow-up, patience, and commitment are prerequisites for doing business successfully in India.   
  • The Indian market necessitates multiple marketing efforts that address differing regional opportunities, standards, languages, cultural differences, and levels of economic development.  
  • Penetrating India’s markets requires careful analysis of consumer preferences, existing sales channels, and changes in distribution and marketing practices.   
  • India is a face-to-face society, and in-person meetings are typically required before formalization of work partnerships or agreements.  While the pandemic has led Indian companies to work more frequently with global partners in virtual environments, it remains to be seen whether this is a permanent shift in business practices.  

Best Prospects

  • Equipment and Solutions for Port Infrastructure development 
  • Ocean Technology 
  • Ship Building 
  • Navigation and Communication Equipment 
  • Gears/Equipment for Commercial and Sport Fishing 
  • Logistics and Supply chain solutions  
  • Feasibility Studies  

Competition/Barriers

  • High Tariffs  and Protectionist Policies 
  • Price Sensitivity 
  • Infrastructure 
  • Data Localization and E-Commerce Restrictions 
  • Local Content Requirement 
  • Power of States 

Specific Projects/Opportunities

  • Tenders open for bidding: 
  • Published by National Institute of Ocean Technology 
  • Published by Inland Waterways Authority of India 
  • Published by Cochin Shipyard Limited 

 

 

Market Overview 

  • Singapore is a global hub port and international maritime center with more than 130,000 ships call at its ports annually. It is well-connected to 600 ports in over 120 countries. 
  • Singapore also offers a comprehensive range of both technical and commercial maritime services such as finance, broking, insurance, surveying, legal, and arbitration.    
  • Singapore is constantly developing its digital infrastructure and enhancing its sustainability capabilities as a key to its status as a thriving maritime hub. 
  • Tuas Mega Port is Singapore’s next-generation container terminal development with state-of-the-art operations in place. When completed in 2040, the Tuas Mega Port can handle up to 65 million TEUs. 
  • Singapore’s offshore and marine hub services worldwide demand for ship repair, shipbuilding, rig-building, and offshore engineering, as well as oilfield equipment manufacturing, and the building and chartering of offshore supply vessels. 
  • Singapore has built up expertise over the past two decades in the construction of offshore jack-up rigs and the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) conversion market. 

Market Trends

  • Major global disruption s currently being experienced in ports and all aspects of the supply chain ecosystem due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Maximization of AI-based technologies to increase productivity and improve labor-intensive operations for greater efficiency in the port environment. 
  • Green port technologies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon capture, utilization, and storage technologies for conversion into useful substances such as chemicals useful for producing polymers, or for storage underground. 
  • As part of Singapore Green Plan 2030, the country is looking at energy transition, energy renewables, and energy decarbonization. Due to land scarcity, Singapore companies are looking to undertake floating solar farms and offshore wind projects in other countries since they are increasingly becoming a cost-competitive alternative to other renewable energy sources. 
  • Most offshore wind projects in Asia are currently in Northeast Asia with more than 50GW of installed capacity and Southeast Asian countries are just starting to plan for offshore wind projects. Singapore companies have worked on some of the offshore wind projects in Northeast Asia and are now looking at similar projects in the U.S. 
  • Conservation of Singapore’s urban greenery and biological diversity 
  • Reef rejuvenation projects for local coral population, conserving Singapore’s marine ecosystems, and promoting Singapore as a sustainable tourism destination.  
  • Coastal Protection is also something that Singapore is looking at due to climate change issues and Singapore being an island state. 
  • Harnessing Ocean renewable energy by converting kinetic energy in flowing water into electricity.  
  • Multi-level floating farm for fish and other agricultural production

Competition/Barriers

  • Singapore is an open market and U.S. firms can therefore expect strong global competition, particularly from Europe, China, Japan, and other Asian countries.  
  • Generally, the imports of goods that the government determines as posing a threat to health, security, safety, and social decency are controlled. 
  • The Strategic Trade Scheme (STS) is an enhanced permit regime that seeks to promote effective internal export control compliance and provide legitimate traders with greater facilitation in permit declarations involving transactions of strategic goods for non-WMD related end-users.

Best Prospects

  • Supply of robotic and automation solutions to improve Singapore’s Marine & Offshore Engineering (M&OE) capabilities. 
  • Offer smart M&OE engineering products and solutions to enhance Singapore’s digitalization effort. 
  • Green port technological equipment and solutions. 
  • Underwater and surface autonomous vehicle systems to improve connectivity between ships, ports, and marine infrastructure.  
  • Low-carbon emission solutions, as regional governments are pushing this with their growing commitment to promote solar and wind as renewable energy sources. 

 

Market Overview

  • Thailand is strategically located in the heart of ASEAN and the country has coastlines of 2,123 miles and waterways of 2,485 miles.  
  • Thailand aims to develop the ports into a regional hub to complement the leading shipping destination in SEA.  
  • The Thai government has significantly invested in expanding and improving the national infrastructure networks through Public-Private Partnership Program (PPP) amounted to $28 billion in the past two decades.   
  • Key port development projects include Map Ta Phut Industrial port (phase 3) with an estimated $1.78 billion and Laem Chabang port with an estimated $2.8 billion.  
  • Major deep seaports include Laem Chabang, Map Ta Phut, Ranong, Phuket, Koh Sichang Achorage.  

Market Trends

  • The global pandemic situation directly impacts the supply chain and ports worldwide.   
  • New technological solutions like port automation, big data, IoT, blockchain applications, and connected supply chains need less physical labor to improve port performance and economic competitiveness.   
  • Green port technologies such as greenhouse gas emissions, ship recycling, and other marine organisms are underway and required for future ports.  

Market Entry

  • Partnering with a local partner is the most effective way to enter the Thai market and reach potential buyers.   
  • Background checks on potential local partners are recommended.  
  • The Commercial Section provides a series of customized business development services to assist U.S. companies planning to enter or expand their presence in the market.  

Competition/Barriers

  • Markets for infrastructure projects are dominated by China, Japan, and other Asian countries.  
  • Market intelligence is not widely available, and obtaining detailed and verified information can be slow and challenging.  
  • The key to successful bidding on government projects is to have a local representative with good access to the procuring agency and knowledge of specific procurement requirements.  

Best Prospects

  • Smart port  
    • Smart port infrastructure  
    • Terminal automation 
    • Port community system 
    • Traffic management systems 
    • Smart safety & security  
  • Green port technological equipment and solutions  

Market Overview

  • The UAE is a maritime nation with over 800 miles of coastline along the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.​
  • The UAE is a top regional hub in the Middle East region, and over 1,500 U.S. companies operate in the UAE.​
  • The UAE is the top U.S. export market in the region with over $17 billion in U.S. exports to the UAE in 2021.​
  • The UAE ranked #16 for Ease of Doing Business by the World Bank in 2020.​
  • American products and solutions are highly regarded.

Market Trends

  • Security solutions continue to be important in this region.​
  • The UAE government has made a Net-Zero commitment and is hosting the COP28 climate conference in 2023. The UAE is prioritizing research and investment in renewable projects including offshore wind power development.​
  • The UAE has demonstrated resilience in the face of COVID-19, has a 100% vaccination rate, is open to travel, and is a regional travel hub.

Market Entry

  • Working with a local agent, distributor, or representative is recommended for this market.​
  • The Commercial Service UAE team helps U.S. companies to enter the market and can offer export assistance services and resources. Our team is happy to discuss your objectives and see how we may be able to help. ​
  • Attending trade shows in the region is an excellent opportunity to network with local distributors and potential partners. English is widely spoken in the UAE

Competition/Barriers

  • Foreign competition is tough – from Asian and European competitors. ​
  • Procurement tenders often lack transparency.

Best Prospects

  • Port solutions and equipment, digitization, & green port technologies.​
  • Marine renewable energy technologies.​
  • Marine and coastal security solutions.

Specific Projects/Opportunities

  • Port projects include a new port for the $5 billion Al Ruweis petrochemical complex in Abu Dhabi.​
  • Port modernization projects.​

Market Overview

  • Turkey as a country is surrounded by three seas from three directions: Black Sea to the north, Aegean Sea to the west, and Mediterranean to the south.  Its location makes Turkey a major player as a transit, origin, and destination country with access to, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. ​
  • 90 percent of Turkey’s international trade (by volume) travels by sea. Turkey has 197 ports, including piers, jetties, dolphins, platforms, and terminals, which make the country an important access point along international maritime trade routes.​
  • Among the ports, 27 are large container ports, 13 of which are connected to rail. Most ports focus on cargo handling, general cargo, liquid cargo handling, bulk cargo and some also focus on Ro-Ro transport and cruise ships. 

Market Trends

  • The Turkish government plans to expand the country’s shipping capacity in the near term via large port construction projects: Izmir/Candarli Port on the Aegean is one example of a new port project breaking ground recently and that has growth potential.  Upon completion, the government plans to auction the ports via a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model, used frequently in other large infrastructure projects. ​
  • Turkey’s ports are modernizing operations to reach higher levels of efficiency and competitiveness, including port superstructure, vessel tracking systems, oil spill detection and contingency preparedness, underwater mapping type of projects, and monitoring of truck queues into port terminal entrances to plan internal port traffic.  ​
  • Additionally, with the digital revolution increasing competition and growing demand, privatized Turkish ports have begun to evolve into the fourth generation of port development, smart ports. 

Market Entry

  • Working with a local agent, distributor or representative is recommended for this market.​
  • Commercial Service Turkey is a conduit to the market and can offer all manner of export assistance and resources. We welcome all inquiries. ​
  • Attending trade shows, meeting in person with the local companies in the region is an excellent opportunity to network with local distributors and partners. ​
  • Please see www.trade.gov/Turkey for more information.

Competition/Barriers

  • Global economic situation;​
  • Trade flows​
  • Domestic inflation 

Best Prospects

  • Port digitization, smart & green port technologies, including software technologies.​
  • Safety and security technologies, including surveillance systems, port entrance access control, and screening and scanning ​
  • Ship-to-shore cranes (SSC), rubber-tired cranes (RTC), rail-mounted cranes (RMC), reach stackers and terminal trucks
  • Ship traffic tracking technologies

Specific Projects/Opportunities

  • Altinel Port expansion project​
  • Mersin Port expansion project