The maritime industries, which include ship- building and ship operation, are vital to Europe's economy. The EU is still third behind Korea and Japan in ship- building, and dominates the market for high value ships, such as cruise liners and ferries. Ship building capacity will increase when countries such as Poland join the EU. However in the supply of ship building components and services, the EU is a world leader, accounting for about 31% of the 19 billion Euro market. With regard to ship operations, the EU operates 38.5% of the world's fleet. Maritime transport is involved in 90% of its external trade and 40% of its internal trade In the future, ships will be designed with tough light-weight hulls. The benefits will be faster speeds and reduced fuel consumption. Among the drawbacks will be tighter tolerances and the need for stricter quality control. Hull inspector will provide confidence in new hull designs.
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