Abu Dhabi set for global ports summit
Abu Dhabi, March 18, 2013
Leading representatives of global ports and key harbour industry players will be in Abu Dhabi to take part in the third annual edition of the World Ports & Trade Summit which opens tomorrow (March 19).
Members of International Association of Ports & Harbours will also join these experts for two days of high level discussion and debate as increasing foreign non-oil trade volumes and Gulf-wide port infrastructure and capacity development continue to play a vital role in long-term economic growth prospects for the region.
Organised by Seatrade, the World Ports & Trade Summit is being held in strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC).
The opening ceremony and keynote address by Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the chairman of ADPC; Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy; Jamal Majid Bin Thaniah, Group CEO, Port & Free Zone World and non-executive chairman, DP World, UAE; and Grant Gilfillan, the CEO of Sydney Ports Corporation and First Vice President IAPH, will focus on how the Gulf, and wider Middle East, can continue to strengthen its position as a major strategic force on the world stage.
“With more than $36 billion invested into port transportation in the Gulf’s key maritime hubs, the region is becoming an anchor for both sea and airborne trade, in its capacity as a crucial link in the economic chain that joins East and West; and this gathering of regional and global influencers and game-changers will be the most revealing yet,” said Chris Hayman, the chairman of Seatrade.
The first afternoon’s forum session will be led by an invited panel of international market experts including Eric Lee, Commodities Strategist, Citibank, US and Amrita Sen, senior analyst, Energy Aspects, UK, with panellists engaging in a critical discussion about the impact of global changes and the economic reality of short to long-term challenges and pressure on regional and international trade patterns.
The second day will sees a focus on port infrastructure development in the Gulf as it is gathering increasing momentum, with the UAE’s Jebel Ali facility set to see terminal three capacity expanded to 19 million TEU per annum, and Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Port Terminal adding a further 15 million TEU per year upon completion in 2030.
Saudi Arabia has allocated $750 million to Dammam’s King Abdul Aziz Port, while King Fahd Industrial Port in Jubail is to construct two additional terminals, valued at $38.4 million.
Oman is also developing its existing Salalah facility to launch a new $143 million maritime-meets-air hub, and Qatar’s $7.1 billion mega-port project, which opens in 2016, will offer eventual capacity of six million TEU per annum by 2028.
“With major ports across the GCC expected to see growth of more than 5 per cent by 2017, VIP industry and government presence at this year’s Summit, once again demonstrates the ‘lifeline’ importance of maritime trade and ports infrastructure to businesses and governments on both a regional and international levels,” remarked Hayman.
The day two line-up also offers in-depth sessions focusing on operational challenges and opportunities highlighting port technology, security and environmental best practice; plus discussions on the issues of breakbulk, project cargo and heavy lift.
Over 30 high profile speakers including Chen Yingming, the deputy executive president, China Ports and Harbours Association; and Santiago Garcia-Mila Lloveras, the deputy GM of Port of Barcelona & chairman of the European Seaports Organisation will share their expertise and insight over the next 48 hours.
Regional industry luminaries include Abdul Wahab Mohamed Al Diwani, the director of Marine Inspection and Survey, Marine Transport Sector, National Transport Authority, UAE; Neil Watson, the GC manager of Abu Dhabi Terminals and Mohammad Jaber, the chief operating officer of Agility, UAE.-TradeArabia News Service