SC&RA's experience at Bauma in Munich, Germany, April 23-29, left us even more convinced that our industry is on the leading edge of an increasingly global economy. The 28th International Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Construction Vehicles, Equipment and Mining Machines attracted more than a half million registrants from 190 nations.

An estimated 160,000 visitors came from abroad, an increase of around 35% compared to the previous Bauma in 2004.

We found very much to admire about the exhibits and the overall Bauma program. A particularly encouraging development occurred in a banquet hall on April 27 at the annual dinner of the European Association of Heavy Haulage Transport and Mobile Cranes (ESTA). Before an audience of more than 550 people, SC&RA committed to participate in the planning, promotion and conduct of an international crane and transport summit in the fall of 2009. The summit will be planned cooperatively with ESTA, KHL Group, SC&RA and a host of other worldwide associations that serve our industry.

In my remarks at the dinner, I noted a global summit would be very useful in spreading the association's initiatives on safety and other key matters while creating a worldwide forum for the lifting and transport sector.

Indeed, a global summit fits perfectly within SC&RA's 2006-2009 strategic plan. One of the key performance areas in that plan is to establish a more effective international network.

Participation at Bauma and the ESTA dinner already has helped SC&RA gain valuable international exposure to strengthen that network. In the meantime, many of our members also emphasize their own international networks. For example, hundreds of SC&RA members attended Bauma and participated at varying levels. More than 30 existing SC&RA members from around the world were represented at the ESTA event.

In addition to gaining a commitment from ESTA and SC&RA, the global summit already has attracted the support of such organizations as the Crane Rental Association of Canada, the Crane Association of New Zealand, the Crane Industry Council of Australia, and the Crane Association of New South Wales. SC&RA will work to encourage participation from groups in Africa, Asia, South America and other parts of the world.

Among the topics that individuals and panels might address at the summit are:

Equipment harmonization and standardization

Equipment regulations  Risk management trends and strategies

Certification and training of crane operators

Global labor markets.

To support the global summit, SC&RA plans to work in cooperation with KHL Group, the leading supplier of international construction information in the world. Among KHL's publications is this magazine and SC&RA's other official monthly, International Cranes and Specialized Transport.

SC&RA is also pursuing other significant steps to strengthen international outreach efforts. In 2008, we plan to hold an international forum in Australia and New Zealand, and the annual Crane & Rigging Workshop will take place in Toronto in cooperation with the Crane Rental Association of Canada.

Watch for news in SC&RA's magazines and newsletters concerning these and other international developments. As the international association of more than 1,200 member companies from 46 nations, SC&RA is more serious than ever about serving the crane and specialized transportation industries around the globe.

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