On behalf of the Board of Directors and Industry Council of the World LPG Association, it is my pleasure and honour to welcome colleagues and friends from all corners of the globe to the 28th World LPG Forum taking place in a true crossroads of the world, the City-State of Singapore.
The strong support that this Forum has received from the Government of Singapore is reflective of the strategic importance that Singapore now places on the gas industry. Singapore, relentlessly developing and growing, understands the opportunities that are emerging in the world LPG and natural gas markets.
It is therefore particularly appropriate that the theme of our meeting here this year is “EXPANDING HORIZONS”. This past year, the combination of political volatility and the quest for profits has made the energy industry particularly dynamic. We have seen large shifts in perception of geo-political risk, major price shifts and massive changes in capital investment budgets. The resulting volatility is that which rewards entrepreneurs and gives headaches to long-term planners.
The center of gravity of world economic growth has shifted towards Asia. This inevitably means that the energy industry and its rapidly emerging key fuel -- gas -- will have to understand and take advantage of this shift.
Singapore understandsthe world gasindustry’slong-term need for a credible meeting point for traders, financiers, transportation companies and industry. At our Forum this year, the participation of all these parties will inevitably lead to a fruitful exchange of ideas and a consequent harvest of new relationships and business opportunities. The non-Asian attendees will find it of particular interest to deepen their knowledge of, and acquaintance with, the Asian LPG market and its potential.
India, Vietnam, China, Indonesia and the Philippinesrepresent huge, only partially developed LPG market potential. Malaysia, Thailand, Korea and Japan represent a solid foundation of mature and well served large-scale LPG consumption. LPG in the land transport sector is starting to realise its potential. The lessons that can be learned from Asia will also be useful in the forthcoming development of African LPG markets.
All in all, as the English poet William Wordsworth said: “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive…but to be young was very heaven”. That is the way we should be feeling at this dawn of another surge in LPG market growth.
The WLPGA thanks the Singapore National Organizing Committee and the Forum sponsors for organising and supporting this World LPG Forum in Singapore.
I look forward to meeting all of you there.