UAE: Abu Dhabi to Host World Ports and Trade Summit

Abu Dhabi to Host World Ports and Trade Summit

H.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, UAE; Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Chairman Abu Dhabi Ports Company; H.E. Jamal Majid Bin Thaniah, Non-Executive Director & Vice Chairman, DP World and Jonathon Porrit, Founder Director, Forum for the Future are amongst some of the eminent personalities that will speak at this year’s World Ports and Trade Summit to be held in Abu Dhabi from 2-4 April.

The second World Ports & Trade Summit, held under the patronage of H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi & Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, takes place the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) and includes 3 days of exhibition, high level conference programme and networking. It is held in association with Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC).

This year, the Summit assumes greater significance in the wake of rising costs and political instability in the region as a result of which trade patterns have come under fresh scrutiny. Seaports in the UAE account for 61% 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. With an attractive trade and investment climate, the UAE now serves as a regional hub for more than 25% of the world’s top 500 companies.

The conference could not have been more timely considering that new global realities have redefined maritime trade and thrown up challenges that require coordinated efforts from all players in the industry. The central location of the UAE makes it an ideal host country for this summit, which will give a new direction to the maritime industry,” said Susan Tambling, Conference Programmer at Seatrade.

The opening session of the conference on Monday, April 2,will be chaired by Stephen Sackur, Presenter, Hardtalk, BBC World News and followed by the second sessionon ‘World Trade and Economics‘. This will have a high level panel of economists, bankers, investment specialists, a political scientist, a major ship-owner and a port industry leader. The panelists will debate the outlook for the world economy and what this may mean for the pattern of world trade in the future.

A session on ‘The Emerging Market’s Review’ will focus on the role of the emerging market countries as generators of trade. This session will feature presentations and a lively debate that will give delegates a crucial insight into the newly evolving trade patters as a result of the new economic realities of the emerging economies. Special focus will be given to infrastructure project updates given the impact that these countries could have on future global economic recovery and trade.

On Tuesday, April 3, a special session will be chaired by John Wylie, CEO, Agility, UAE, evaluating the topic, ‘What is the Global Supply Chain Road Ahead?’ Industry leaders from container and liner shipping will discuss the pattern of investment in new capacity and its implications for the supply/demand outlook for the sector. The market drivers of demand and the outlook for major container trades will also be assessed, with particular emphasis on Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

Debate will also take place on the importance and the opportunities in emerging markets in the short, medium and long term. The need for terminal investment will also be evaluated given the need to mirror the shift towards bigger ships and listening to the voice of the shipper in the construction of transport chains of the future.

A session to be chaired by Chris Hayman, Chairman, Seatrade, will discuss the topic, ‘The Changing Role of the Port Authority: A Global Perspective.’ Some of the most successful ports in the world will reveal how they have added efficiency in infrastructure and cargo handling by effectively introducing automation. Discussions will also dwell on the challenges these ports have experienced in meeting the needs of the logistics industry in infrastructure development, shore-side transport links and cargo handling technology.

The third day of the Summit will start with a session on ‘Energy Outlook and Transportation,’ which will be chaired by Maher Chmaytelli, Director, Middle East, Bloomberg News, UAE. Given that energy is a critical component of virtually all Middle Eastern economies and is also a global driver of economic growth, there will be an in-depth review of energy transportation in the region and the major energy consuming nations of South and East Asia. The ship and terminal interface will be assessed and effort will be made to look into the design of a risk-based approach to port operations.

The concluding session to be chaired by Edmund O’Sullivan, Editor, MEED, will be on the topic, ‘Petrochemical, Aluminium, Logistics and Shipping in the Middle East – Meeting the Challenges.’ With an expected regional boom in the production of petrochemical products and aluminium commodities, this topical session will address the critical issues on planning for the future that confront producers and consumers, shipping companies, port/terminal operators and storage companies. It will provide a unique platform from which stakeholders can minimize threats and maximize opportunities in these important regional industries.

Abu Dhabi hosted the first World Ports & Trade Summit in March 2011, and it attracted over 3,000 visitors from 52 countries. The event is jointly organized by Turret Media and Seatrade.


Dredging Today Staff, March 19, 2012