November 21 - The global shipbuilding sector should seek growth opportunities from the offshore industry as other shipping sectors stall.

That is the message from Oh Kong-gyun, chairman and CEO of the Korean Register.

Speaking at the fourth Seoul International Shipbuilding and Maritime Conference (SIMS) in Korea, Oh explained that while the world fleet continues to grow, the number of new orders decreased between 2006 and 2009.

He said: "It can be assumed that over the coming 10 years, the yearly average new building order book will be less than that of the past 10 years. The demand for containers, tankers and LNG carriers will decrease, while the construction of offshore platforms will show strength in the market place owing to a high demand for energy, increased investment in the exploitation of oil and gas and higher oil prices. The increased demand for deep-sea crude oil and natural gas will also lead to heightened newbuilding activities for deep-sea oil platforms."

The annual SIMS conference is held in Seoul, Korea and this year was attended by around 200 international delegates and speakers.

Conference topics included future prospects for the international shipping and shipbuilding markets, green-ship technology and the global piracy problem.