53 1970-2008 GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT AND LOCAL ADAPTATION The years from 1970 to the present day are marked by signifi cant changes in the market as the growing demand for energy and not least globalization has had a signifi cant impact on the business. How did SVITZER adopt and explore new opportunities in the wake of these changes? The economic bubble of the 1960s soon burst and two oil crises dominated the economic agenda of the 1970s. Deregulation and open markets were the political focus of the 1980s, led by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. The European Economic Community (from 1992 the European Union) evolved and with it came increased focus on business opportunities across borders. The 1990s saw a further focus on environmental issues – a focus that is intensifying at the beginning of the 21st century. An increasing demand for energy and sharp growth in world trade created new business opportunities which SVITZER explored in several ways – initially by developing new business sectors but later by focusing on expanding core activities globally. RESTRUCTURING AND REFOCUSING The salvage market continued to change as vessels grew increasingly larger and more advanced navigation systems were developed. New communication systems further affected salvage operations. Know ledge of casualties was now quickly available to anyone and contracting of salvors had moved from the vessel in distress to offi ces. SVITZER recognized the need to restructure its business activities. Instead of keeping salvage tugs stationed on speculation at strategic places, salvage experts were now concentrated on shore and the vessels and crews used for towage, while remaining ready to respond to an emergency whenever and wherever needed. Focus increased on harbour towage and investments were made in new tug boats. Harbour towage in Copenhagen was operated through the joint venture Det Forenede Bugserselskab until 1981 when SVITZER assumed full ownership. SVITZER continued to expand its towage activities, also acquiring the Photo from a SVITZER salvage operation.
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