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Abu Dhabi gears up for major port summit

Abu Dhabi, January 29, 2012

Over 4,000 delegates representing port authorities, shipping lines, cargo operators, logistics companies, technology solutions providers, investors and financiers will be in Abu Dhabi for the upcoming 'World Ports & Trade Summit 2012.'

The summit, to be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre from April 2 to 4, is being jointly organised by Seatrade and Turret Media, in association with the Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC).

The event comes at a time when the ports and sea freight in the Middle East region are expanding and regional shipping lines are facing unprecedented challenges.

The global experts will attend the summit to discuss the state of the industry, emerging markets and the way forward. An exhibition showcasing cutting edge services and technology related to ports and sea trade will also be part of the event.  

The inaugural summit hosted in Abu Dhabi last year drew over 3,000 delegates from 52 countries, including board presidents and chief executives from sectors ranging from ports, cargo and logistics operations, infrastructure development to investment finance.

By bringing together key decision-makers and solutions providers across a series of brainstorming and networking sessions, the summit will offer the latest project updates and the opportunity to influence investment and purchase decisions in the fast-expanding ports and sea trade sector in the Middle East.

Tony Douglas, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports Company said, 'Middle East seaports are expanding vigorously - a total of $46.5 billion has already been committed to develop the 35 ports in the region.'

'Considering the region’s role as a hub and transit point for global trade and the economic boom in and around the Middle East, such investment strategies are here to stay,' he noted.

“Abu Dhabi hosting this summit has added significance as the UAE is the most vibrant distribution and consumption hub within the Middle East,' remarked Douglas.

'In addition, the opening of the newest and most advanced automated facility in the region at Khalifa Port in the fourth quarter will prove a great draw for the industry. With its strong accent on economic diversification and investment in logistics infrastructure the UAE presents immense opportunities for maritime trade, services and technology,' he added.

According to him, the seaports in the UAE account for 61 per cent of the GCC trade volume and this share is expected to rise with new capacity being added.

'The first phase of the Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi will be complete by the last quarter of 2012, adding two million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) of container and 12 million tons of general cargo capacity,' he stated.

According to expertsm, the rising costs and the overhanging political instability and piracy in the region will be on sharp focus at the summit.

Political commentators, insurers and security chiefs will put these challenges in perspective and explore solutions to ensure safe and efficient maritime trade in the Middle East, they added.

Chris Hayman, the chairman of Seatrade, said, 'The World Ports and Trade Summit will show the way to a multi-stakeholder strategy for a safe, vibrant and sustainable sea trade. The summit is a perfect fit with our commitment to strengthen communication in the global maritime industry.'

'The sizeable investment being made in ports and supply chains across the region is great news for the industry, given the efficiencies they would bring in terms of capacity, cost and delivery times,' he noted.

Chris Fountain, the managing director of Turret Media, said this summit has established itself as a premier forum to exchange knowledge and expertise on leveraging such positives for future growth.

To highlight the industry outlook and latest trends in maritime trade and investment the summit will have three dedicated forums, featuring cargo owners, shipping companies, third-party logistics providers, freight forwarders, port authorities and business consultants.

The “Silk Route” will bring together industry leaders from container and liner shipping to discuss investment in new capacity, trade patterns and emerging markets.

An Emerging Markets update of projects from the powerhouse economies of the world and a ‘Break Bulk Middle East’ overview of the projected requirements in handling oversized cargoes will also be part of the summit.-TradeArabia News Service

Tags: abu dhabi | port | Seatrade | World Ports & Trade Summit |

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