Last week, ACAPMA hosted the first ever Asia Pacific Fuel Industry Forum at the iconic Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore.
As those in the events industry will tell you, staging any new event is a challenge – particularly one that stretches beyond the traditional market of an industry association. Nonetheless, the event attracted a total of 200 people from eight different countries including Australia, China, Germany, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and UK.
The principal purpose of the forum was to promote information sharing and initiate a long term dialogue with senior representatives of fuel marketing and fuel distribution businesses within the wider Asia Pacific forum and, by all accounts, this objective was achieved.
The event opened with a presentation from Dr Martyn Taylor (Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright) who provided a comprehensive summary of Australian competition law and its relevance to the operation of the national fuel retail industry.
This presentation was followed by a presentation from Jiwon Chung (Managing Director, OPIS Asia Pacific) who provided a summary of the Singapore experience with fuel industry competition.
Tim Kehoe (General Manager, Toll Liquids), Paul Richardson (Senior Sales Executive, Tank Solutions) and Grenville Sutcliffe (President, Husky Corporation) then kicked off discussion on the second but related conference theme of industry innovation. Tim spoke about innovations in fuel transport, Paul spoke about changes in tank technologies and practices and Grenville rounded out the session with a discussion on innovations in fuel nozzles.
Paul Barrett (CEO, Australian Institute of Petroleum) and Alan Cadd (Managing Director, Informed Sources) continued the discussion on retail industry competition, highlighting the fact that the operation of a truly competitive market carried an implicit requirement for price transparency – a topic that is particularly relevant in the face of the ongoing debate about petrol prices in Australia.
In the afternoon, delegates were treated to presentations from Norton Rose Fulbright, Platts and the International Energy. A key highlight of this session was the unveiling of work completed by Norton Rose Fulbright that provided an overview of the architecture, regulation and near term challenges for 10 markets within the Asia Pacific region.
Kristine Petroysan (Lead Oil Refining and Trade Analysis, International Energy Agency) provided a presentation on the near term demand and supply outlook for oil in the Asia Pacific Region and Calvin Lee (Editorial Director, Platts) rounded out the session with a perspective on the near term outlook for fuel prices in Asia Pacific Region.
Day one saw all delegates enjoy a networking dinner over a classic Chinese banquet while MC Greg Ward belted out a few tunes on a grand piano.
Day two commenced with a discussion about the real-world operation of retail industry competition with Brooke Miller (Vice President Sales and Marketing, BP Australia), Mark McKenzie (CEO, ACAPMA) and Kyle Loades (NRMA President) teaming up in a lively debate to discuss some of the challenges of maintaining business sustainability in the face of ever changing stakeholder expectations.
The day continued with presentations on retail market innovations with Mike McAllum (Futurist, Global Foresight) making a welcome return to continue the discussion about how the retail industry will need to accommodate large scale technology and social changes if it is to remain successful in the future.
“While we would have loved to see more people attend from the region and more exhibitors support the Trade Show, the event was a very solid start in our engagement within the Asia Pacific region”, said ACAPMA CEO Mark McKenzie.
“Particularly encouraging was the seniority of delegates that attended this particular forum”, said Mark.
“We believe we have laid the foundations for a high-quality business relevant conference and trade show in the future and look forward to staging the 2017 event in Melbourne, as we seek to establish the APFI Forum as the premier event for petroleum marketing and petroleum distribution businesses in the region”, said Mark.
Sincere thanks go to all the businesses that made this inaugural international industry event possible, including:
- Arthur J Gallagher
- New Sunrise
- GaP Solutions
- Informed Sources
- OPW Global
- Beacon Business Systems
- Husky Corporation
- Leighton O’Brien
- Norton Rose Fulbright
- Shipman King
- SPEL Environmental
- WEX Australia