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Julian Panter talks Saudi Maritime Congress and long-term vision

Julian Panter, Vice President - Business Development, International Maritime Industries

Why do you think it's important that we bring Saudi Maritime Congress to the Kingdom?

We're not growing a brand new industry because I think that would do a disservice to those that have come before us. What we're trying to do is create awareness of the potential that lies in Saudi Arabia. We want to make sure that everyone understands that there's a lot of investment from government & non-government entities that are coming into this region and building something truly remarkable in the King Salman Complex. And for us for IMI, for the King Salman Complex, for the government, for Saudi Aramco, we want to make sure that we use this platform to attract the right supply chain partners that we bring potential customers and other key industry stakeholders to Saudi Arabia, and really put Saudi Arabia on the maritime map..

Why is IMI supporting the Saudi Maritime Congress?

We've been blessed to be Strategic Partners and we've had a good relationship with Seatrade and we're Strategic Partners in this third annual Seatrade Congress in Dammam, which we which we were keen to be because it's as I would it's on our patch if you like. So, Dammam is where IMI head offices are at the moment on the East Coast of Saudi Arabia.

So yes, we want to try and use this as a platform as a Strategic Partner to trap the relevant industry supply chain companies.

I want to have a Q&A session with a lot of the supply chain companies so they can understand how they can be part of this this wonderful venture in IMI. I also want to try and attract customers so they can also understand how we can benefit them and how they can benefit us. And then any other industry stakeholders that can come to Saudi.

So for us it's about putting all of the right industry stakeholders in one place and using this as a forum to have some great discussion, market insights, networking and a great time.

What supply chain companies can expect from the 'IMI Workshop'?

We've been working really hard with Seatrade, and what we want to try and do is to set up a forum where we can have a panel discussion.

We can invite the supply chain companies that want to get involved with the IMI, and they can ask all the pertinent questions that they need to about how they can get involved with this wonderful project.

What's your vision of the future for this event in the Kingdom?

Bear in mind now Saudi Arabia is a little bit different because now you can get tourist visas on arrival if you do the relevant forms online. And I think that everything is in place to really fill this venue and get the right industry stakeholders there and make this a complete success.

So what I'd ask for is just for everyone to come along, I think it's free of charge you were saying to enter, so you know we can make this a really good success and build on this year for next year and the years after.

And I'd like to think that we can compete in Saudi at these events with the rest of the world. I've been to some really world class events globally like you look at Posidonia and SMM and a lot of these global events - there's no reason why I don't think we can make something as big in Saudi if not bigger.

But it all starts in these first two or three conferences, so I'll just ask everyone to come along and let's have, like I said, a great time, good networking, good discussion and try and put Saudi and the GCC on the maritime map.

Find how how Saudi Maritime Congress is connecting Saudi Arabia Shipping and Logistics Sectors here.

Download the report on Foreign Investments in Saudi Arabia.