After more than two years of development and international industry discussion, ACAPMA is preparing to host the first ever Asia Pacific Fuel Industry Forum in Singapore between 13 and 15 September 2016.

The event differs from all other petroleum industry events conducted in the region – all of which focus on the upstream trading and refinery segments of the industry.  The Asia Pacific Fuel Industry Forum, however, is specifically designed for fuel retailers and fuel wholesalers in the Asia Pacific and ANZ.

It seeks to provide these businesses with valuable industry information and access to the region’s major suppliers of petroleum equipment and petroleum services.

“We would have preferred to take the low-risk option of partnering with an existing event in the region but the reality is that there simply wasn’t an event that catered specifically for the downstream section of the petroleum industry in the Asia-Pacific”, said ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie.

“That said, the absence of any similar event also gave us a blank canvas to design an event that was of maximum value to this distinct section of the petroleum industry”, said Mark.

The downstream segment of the regional petroleum industry is often forgotten because people wrongly assume that the interests of the industry are captured as a result of engaging the big oil companies – both global multi-nationals and state-owned corporations – at the trading or refinery level.

“These bigger businesses are important, but it is also vital to recognise the integral role played by the numerous small businesses that work in partnership with these larger businesses to market transport fuels in the Asia-Pacific”, said Mark.

In Australia, the wholesale and retail segments of the fuel industry comprise more than 3,000 separate businesses – large and small – and employ more than 55,000 people, generating more than $78 billion ($AUD) in revenue and $4.8 billion ($AUD) in net economic benefit to the national economy.

In South-East Asia, the significance of the downstream industry is several magnitudes higher.

Yet there is little in the way of authoritative industry forums for discussion on how best to protect the economic contribution of this substantial industry in the face of contemporary market challenges.

The inaugural Asia Pacific Fuel Industry Forum seeks to change all that via the initiation of a industry dialogue for these markets.

“This year, the forum will be focused on three core topics”, said Mark.

The first is retail industry competition.

At a time when the majority of South East Asian economies are preparing to make the move to part or full deregulation of their markets, there are some stakeholders in Australia calling for increasing regulation of what has long been an open and contestable market – and one that has delivered some of the lowest average fuel prices of any OECD Economy.

“The future of retail industry competition in the wider region – in terms of structure and timing – will be a key focus of much of the discussion at this year’s event”, said Mark.

The price and supply outlook for fuel will also be a major area of discussion with presentations to be provided by the International Energy Agency and Platts.

“It is hoped that this information will provide fuel retailers with an appreciation of current supply/demand and global price trends in the face of an ever changing global market and demand-side challenges, some of which are being created by a more fuel efficient vehicle fleet and the market introduction of electric vehicles”, said Mark.

The third area of focus is the future of fuel retailing in the near term, effectively building on the “future” discussion that was initiated by ACAPMA at last year’s annual industry conference.

Conference participants will also be provided with a set of “Country Reports” for most of the major economies that comprise the Asia Pacific Region.

This vital source of information is being prepared by the Oil and Gas Division of Norton Rose Fulbright and will provide conference participants with a comprehensive and authoritative overview of regulatory structures, market structures and near term industry trends.

“All in all, we have developed a programme that is designed to demonstrate our credentials as a leading advocate of the downstream petroleum industry in the Asia-Pacific and I am very grateful to the industry leaders that have given of their time to present at the Forum”, said Mark.

“We are also very pleased with the level of industry engagement that has been achieved at this advanced stage of event preparations”, said Mark.

Early registrations have been received from some of Australia’s leading fuel retailers (e.g. BP Australia, Caltex and Woolworths) and fuel distributors (e.g. Adelaide Fuels, Inland Petroleum, Bonney Energy and Geraldton Fuels) together with asian/international fuel business such as Petronas (Malaysia), PetroChina, Singapore Petroleum Corporation, Northern Star Petroleum (Philippines) and Exxon Mobil (Europe and Asia).

The conference stream is complimented by a trade hall that provides the opportunity to not only connect with some of the region’s leading suppliers of petroleum equipment and services, but to also hear about some of the latest technical developments in petroleum retailing, inventory management and fuel storage systems.

“But it’s not all work”, said Mark.

The event includes a social programme comprising a cocktail function and gala dinner as well as an accompanying partners programme.

“And for those that wish to stay on for a few days, there is the opportunity to attend the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix”, added Mark.

Registrations are open and there are still a number of spaces available in the Trade Hall for businesses wishing to exhibit their products and/or services.

Further information about the event can be found at www.apfiforum.com or by contacting ACAPMA’s Event Manager, Catherine Squire on 1300 160 270 or by email at catherines@acapma.com.au.

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