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Abu Dhabi to host inaugural World Ports and Trade Summit in 2011

Abu Dhabi to host inaugural World Ports and Trade Summit in 2011

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) has announced plans to host the industry's first World Ports & Trade Summit in 2011 under the patronage of H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nayhan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

In a show of strength from the industry, Abu Dhabi Terminals and the Arab Sea Ports Federation joined ADPC and event organisers Turret Media and Seatrade, at a press conference earlier this week to pledge their support for the inaugural Summit in Abu Dhabi. Other confirmed partners include Bechtel as platinum sponsor and Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority as exclusive destination partner.

Scheduled for 28-30 March 2011 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, internationally renowned economists, ports authorities, terminal operators, shipping companies, global cargo owners and investors will be brought together to study the alternative futures facing the industry; to learn about new projects; to understand the investment opportunities taking shape and to find suppliers who can make projects happen.

Tony Douglas, CEO of ADPC commented, "The World Ports & Trade Summit will deliver a vital exchange of knowledge as the ports and shipping industries look to evolve development strategies in line with economic management and recovery."

"ADPC is extremely proud to be a key partner of this brand new event in the United Arab Emirates. As ADPC continues to make the Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ) a reality, the company is now taking centre stage in the diversification of Abu Dhabi's economy. KPIZ 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 Summit."

The UAE isn't the only country with grand designs in place for its coastal development. Despite the global economic downturn, spending on port developments in the Middle East is still growing, and industry sources state that USD 46.5 billion worth of port development projects are now planned or under way. The market for building and expanding the region's ports has proved to be far more resilient than the wider construction sector as Governments and investors try to look beyond the current economic conditions and towards recovery and the future infrastructure needs of the Middle East.   

Chris Fountain, Managing Director of Event Organisers Turret Media explains, "We are consulting with port authorities, terminal operators, shipping companies, investors, and they are all thirsty for knowledge as Governments work towards economic recovery."

Chris Hayman, Chairman of Seatrade, added: "The aim for the Summit is to deliver an unrivalled information exchange and networking platform for the industry in a city spearheading the development of ports and associated industrial zones."

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade of the UAE has already confirmed participation as a keynote speaker.

Comprising a carefully designed mix of keynote conference sessions, panel debates, training workshops and round table discussions, the Summit will also include an international exhibition and a fringe programme of networking events, association meetings, investor workshops and hosted tours of ports facilities in the UAE. The opening conference session is set to be a lively start to proceedings as award winning interviewer Tim Sebastian, Chairman of the Doha Debates and former presenter of BBC's HARDtalk  moderates a discussion between leading economists, investors, retailers, freight forwarders and shipping lines. The panel will be tasked with debating the answers to some tough questions such as 'what does the global macro-economic outlook mean for the region?', 'how will the recovery influence the pattern of trade?' and 'how will the major freight markets perform in 2011'?  Additional streams will look at the efficient operation of ports whilst reviewing the commercial impact of current and future legislation.

Companies being invited to exhibit include port equipment manufacturers and service suppliers, port and marine construction contractors and consultants, port authorities, terminal operators and government departments. Companies already requesting participation include Bechtel, Archirodon, Boskalis, SGS, Kone Cranes, ALE, Liebherr, Uzmar Shipbuilding, ADTA and ADBIC.

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