UAE minister to join global ports summit
Abu Dhabi, November 30, 2010
UAE Minister of Foreign Trade, Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi will be joining the high-level conference at the World Ports and Trade Summit, scheduled to be held from March 28 to 30, 2011 in Abu Dhabi.
The conference will offer valuable insights on the world’s economy, trade and ports.
“Strong business opportunities exist in the region today as the development of ports and trade initiatives consistently bolster economic growth,” said Sheikha Lubna.
“We are committed to contribute the policies, procedures and facilities upheld by the country; and strengthen business and trade partnerships with the world to raise bilateral trade to even greater levels.”
Earlier this year, Sheikha Lubna was voted the most powerful Arab woman by Forbes magazine. She was also ranked the 70th most powerful woman in the world in this year's annual list of the most influential females in politics, business, media and lifestyle.
During the first seven months of 2010, total volume of the UAE’s non-oil trade expanded by 8 per cent to about Dh412 billion ($112 billion). The exports rose by 31 per cent to about Dh 45 billion, while re-exports grew by 16 per cent growth to about Dh97 billion.
“The figures are testament to our success in fostering the non-oil GDP growth, thus demonstrating the ability to instil extra depth within the structure of the economy,” Sheikha Lubna added.
In light of the progress, Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) is now taking centre stage in diversifying the Emirate’s economy. In association with Abu Dhabi Terminals, Arab Sea Ports Federation and event organisers Turret Media and Seatrade, ADPC launched the World Ports and Trade Summit earlier this year, to deliver an unprecedented information exchange on the future of ports and shipping.
Internationally recognised economists, ports authorities, terminal operators, shipping companies, global cargo owners and investors will be brought together to present some of the most ambitious projects ever attempted.
“The Middle East is the new epicentre of ports development with US$46.5billion worth of related projects now planned in the region,” said Tony Douglas, chief executive officer, ADPC.
“The country is a commercial gateway in the region. By providing and implementing long-term plans for ports systems in response to changing socio-economic development and port-related demands, the UAE helps facilitate the smooth flow of trade all over the world.”
Key developments include the upcoming Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) launched earlier this month and the adjoining new Khalifa Port. Located midway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai at Taweelah, the first phase of the port will replace Abu Dhabi’s existing main port of Mina Zayed with an initial capacity of 2 million TEUs and 8 million tons of general cargo and the first phase is scheduled for completion in Q4 2012.
Kizad is expected to contribute up to 15 per cent of Abu Dhabi's GDP by 2030.
“Kizad is set to become a major trade and business hub for the Middle East and we look forward to sharing our plans and developing our strategies alongside industry peers and experts at the World Ports and Trade Summit,” Douglas added.
Comprising a carefully designed mix of keynote conference sessions, panel debates and training workshops, the summit will also include an international exhibition, hosted tours of ports facilities in the UAE and a fringe programme of networking events.
Sheikha Lubna will address as the keynote speaker for the opening conference session, set to be a lively start as award winning interviewer Tim Sebastian, chairman of the Doha Debates and former presenter of BBC’s HARDtalk moderates a discussion between leading decision makers.
The panel will be tasked with debating the global macro-economic outlook for the region, the influence of recovery on pattern of trade the performance of major freight markets. Additional streams will look at the efficient operation of ports whilst reviewing the commercial impact of current and future legislation. – TradeArabia News Service