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Fincantieri eyes development of Chinese cruise industry

Staff writer |
Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri is exploring the possibility of joint ventures in cruise shipbuilding for the Chinese market, a statement from the group said.

Fincantieri teamed up with Carnival Corporation, the world's largest cruise line based in the United States and England, and with China CSSC Holdings Limited, a division of Beijing-based China State Shipbuilding Corporation.

"This would be an unprecedented, three-way collaborative effort to build the first-ever cruise ships to be made in China," the statement said. Memorandums of understanding were signed in China's Hong Kong by representatives of the three parties, Xinhua learned from Fincantieri.

If the agreement goes through, Fincantieri would work with CSSC to develop the production capacity of cruise ships in China. The Italian group, with its experience as one of the world's largest shipyards, would provide specialized services and components to CSSC's shipyards.

For its part, Carnival Corporation would work closely with China CSSC Holdings Limited and Fincantieri and contribute its expertise to creating the vision, definition, and specifications for the China-built cruise ships, the statement explained.

China could see 4.5 million cruise passengers by 2020, according to the Chinese Ministry of Transport (MOT), and is expected to be the second largest global cruise market after the United States in the next several years based on economic growth, increased spending power of Chinese consumers and growing demand for cruise vacations, the statement noted.

State-owned Fincantieri is one of the world's largest shipbuilding groups, which in over 200 years of maritime history has built more than 7,000 vessels. It is the world leader in cruise ship construction and boasts strong performance in other sectors, from high value-added naval vessels to mega-yachts.

With its headquarters in the northern city of Trieste, the group has more than 20,000 employees and 21 shipyards on four continents. Last year, Fincantieri acquired VARD, a company listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange that builds offshore support vessels for oil and gas extraction and production.

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