Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development organized today at the Rocco Forte Hotel Abu Dhabi a seminar on Exports Logistics Support t with the participation of the Department of Transport and, Etihad Railway and KiZAD, attended by more than 55 persons representing a number of export companies in Abu Dhabi.Dr. Adeeb Al Afifi, Director of Foreign Trade and Exports Support, said c in an opening speech that the organizing of this seminar by Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, stems from its responsibilities and duties to develop the emirate's exports through enlightening exporters and manufacturers, and providing them with services and facilities that will support increasing local exports to regional and global markets.Al Afifi emphasized that the emirate of Abu Dhabi confidently moves forward with a clear strategy for social and economic development, aimed at creating a multi-source economy, to ensure a balanced and sustainable economic development for the benefit of the whole society.Dr. Al Afifi said that the modern infrastructure in UAE enabled the State to assume advanced ranks in logistics services at the regional level; indicating that the beginning of operations in the Khalifa Port, and the ongoing implementation of the Etihad Railway project stood as notable achievements in support of exports logistics in the emirate and the State in general; which will boost industrial development as one of the most important enablers of Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.Dr. Adeeb Al Afifi noted that informative programs offered to exporters by ADDED, were designed as enabling tools, to support the emirate’s move towards the knowledge economy, explaining that the Department is working to keep exporters abreast of the components of the logistics chain where means of transportation vary, depending on the size, shape and the type of cargo to be exported; and the characteristics of each method in terms of throughput and material cost.The main services provided by ADDED in support of exports, include the development of exporters capabilities, through seminars, courses and workshops aimed at developing capacities of existing exporters, and raising the awareness of non-exporting enterprises of the importance and benefits of export; and equipping them with tools needed for their products or services to access world markets. This service is provided within the program of export capacity-building, which this seminar constitutes an important part of.The seminar included a discussion session with presentations given by representatives of the Department of Transport, Etihad Railway, KIZAD and Abu Dhabi Ports Company.Mr. John Paul Simpson, the Project Manager at the Department of Transport gave a presentation on the operational plan for exports logistics support, said that Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 paid great attention to logistics support within its objectives, due to its importance in supporting the contribution of non-oil sectors to the emirate's GDP. Mr. Simpson indicated that the logistics sector in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, currently contributes about 6% to the emirate's GDP, adding that the operational plan focuses mainly on supporting this sector, through the development of infrastructure, and identifying constraints and difficulties facing the sector, to overcome them.Mr. Simpson noted that the most prominent of these constraints, was the lack of a centralized management of logistics support; the need to activate the role of police, customs and relevant government entities, and promote partnership relationships with the private sector and exporting companies in addition to studying the modernization of legislation related to logistics support for export. Mr. John Paul Simpson explained that Abu Dhabi is currently working on the implementation of giant strategic projects in the area of logistic support, notably infrastructure, through the construction and expansion of roads associated with the implementation of customs ports, railway network linking all customs ports at the State level; in addition to the adoption of global standards and specifications for stores; besides the modernization of administrative procedures on customs clearance and exports.Mr. Simpson emphasized that the Department of Transport is currently working in collaboration with all government entities in the emirate in particular and the State in general, to develop appropriate solutions to overcome these constraints, notably the identification of a clear mechanism for partnership between amongst entities, with the aim of consolidating joint efforts and enhancing communication with the private sector.Simpson added that achieving these goals necessitated the formation of an Advisory Committee for the development of logistic services in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, with the participation of the private sector. The Department of Transport also plans to organize the “Abu Dhabi Forum for Logistics Services” to identify and address major obstacles, particularly those linked to the legislative side of logistic support. In his presentation, Mr. Simpson said that 6 working groups specialized in several areas related to the development of logistics support will be formed, notably, those concerned with facilitating bilateral trade, land planning and the development of appropriate legislation, among others. Mr. Simpson said that these groups will review and study all bureaucratic procedures and fees associated with logistics support for exports, and will submit appropriate recommendations and to the decision-makers in the emirate; adding that it will be in concert with a large number of representatives of private sector companies, in order to identify the major constraints facing them in this context in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Chamber. Mr. John Lesniewski, Director of Sales and Commercial Agreements at Etihad Railway, gave a presentation during the seminar, in which he highlighted the railway project, and its 1200 km of internal network of cargo transport at the State level, and which is planned to expand in the future to hit the GCC countries, operating on diesel- and electricity and electronic control system with precise specifications to dramatically reduces risks. Mr. Lesniewski stated that the network is characterized as a zero risk network, which will carry large containers of two floors size, with the ability to ship large quantities and heavy materials, such as iron granules, aluminum, steel, metal goods, raw and waste materials and other items.Mr. Lesniewski said that current transportation network is composed of 800 to 900 trucks for carrying such goods; and that upon the implementation of this project, a large number of containers can be dispensed with, which will reduce the risks of t transportation and speed up delivery.The Etihad Railway Director of Sales and Commercial Agreements, Mr. John Lesniewski, noted that network will be implemented in five stages starting in 2014; and will cover all Abu Dhabi emirate’s export and distribution regions in the future; specially notably Al Ghweifat, Al Ruwais, Al Ain, Liwa, Khalifa Port ICAD 4 industrial area, Jebel Ali and Fujairah and other regions.On his part, H.E. Saif. Obaid Al Ameri, the Commercial Director at Khalifa Port container terminal of Abu Dhabi Ports Company, said in a presentation he gave in the seminar, that Abu Dhabi is advancing forward with confidence in the development of maritime domain, through the development of its ports, notably the Khalifa port.Al Ameri, said that Khalifa Port , materializes the aspirations of Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 in developing exports logistics, aimed at enhancing the contribution of non-oil sectors to the emirate's GDP; thanks to its largest capabilities of anchoring the largest ships and vessels, and speedy operations of receiving, unloading and distributing cargo, according to precise and sophisticated electronic system.Al Ameri added that Khalifa Port will be the first marine destination in Abu Dhabi linked with Etihad Railway project, which will contribute to increasing operational capacity in line with the operational plan which started last year. This will speed up the completion of the industrial area, which in turn will provide its services in conjunction with this important strategic project.Al Amer explained that Khalifa Port is currently working to reach 17 operations per hour, and Abu Dhabi Ports Company aspires to achieve 35 operations per hour; and to link with more than 40 international service providers, through Khalifa Port which will enhance the competitiveness of the port.Al Ameri said that work is currently underway so that Khalifa Port services will include all customs procedures associated with operational processes, through a single electronic system consistent with all customs clearance procedures.In his turn, Mr. Osama Adnan Tomeh, Freight Transport Advisor to the Department of Transport said that Abu Dhabi is currently working on the implementation of a comprehensive plan to develop a multi- transport mechanism for goods by land, sea and air, which will be implemented during the period 2014-2018.Mr. Tomeh added that the Department of Transport is on the way to submit this plan to Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and it generally includes the governance of the goods transportation sector in the emirate; and the improvement of the overall performance to achieve the smooth flow of traffic and enhance the attractiveness of the Emirate regionally and internationally. Tomeh explained that the plan took into account the development of the legislative side of cargo, the strengthening of the role of operators, the improvement road safety; which are all objectives focused on by the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030, for the development of the transport sector at large.Tohme said this plan, emerged from the master transport plan prepared by the Department of Transport in 2009, which included important recommendations on the organization of the transport of goods, which in turn, contained 59 recommendations focused on 9 key areas, to be implemented in cooperation and coordination with the Department of Transport and the relevant government authorities.The participant representatives of export firms operating in Abu Dhabi raised many questions focused on a number of issues and constraints associated with legislative and administrative aspects; along with matters related to incentives and facilities that could benefit companies during the next stage.