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Thursday, March 24, 2011
The Department of Economic Development (DED) will participate in the World Ports Trade Summit scheduled to be launched in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre between 28-30 March 2011, bringing together a galaxy of internationally recognized economists, ports authorities, terminal operators, shipping companies, global cargo owners and investors to explore opportunities for boosting trade activities and the alternative futures facing the global ports and shipping industries.‘By participating in this summit, DED aims to underpin its role in specialized international events in the trade and ports industry, which Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 considers as one of the most important sectors for achieving comprehensive, sustainable development in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, along with local exports,’ said H.E. Hamad Abdullah Al-Mas, Executive Director of International Economic Relations. Al-Mas further indicated that DED’s pavilion in the summit will include four major companies operating in Abu Dhabi, namely Al Nasser Group for Technology and Trade , Gulf Marine Services (GMS) and Al Jaber and Ali Sons Group. These companies will have the opportunity to showcase their products and services, explore investment opportunities in the ports and shipping industries and view the products and services offered by ports authorities, terminal operators, global cargo owners, investors and business people. Al-Mas added that although it is the first time that this specialized exhibition has been launched in Abu Dhabi, it brings together many global companies in the trade and ports industry and will provide an opportunity for visitors and interested entities to familiarize themselves with this field and view the latest global products and technology in the seaports and shipping sector. H.E. Al-Mas explained that the conference taking place during the summit will discuss a number of topics including the world economy, trade and ports, future challenges and opportunities for the Middle East and leading drivers of freight markets, emphasizing that ports operations and development systems will have a strong presence in the summit with $46.5bn worth of port investments in the Gulf region.  Al-Mas also added that the UAE is moving forward in its investments to enlarge the capacity of seaports, with the $2.1bn Abu Dhabi's Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone is set to be inaugurated around the end of the current year 2011. The port will have capacity for two million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), over 14,500 ft and 6 million tons of general cargo. H.E. Hamad Al-Mas indicated that the World Ports Trade Summit comes at a time when the emirate of Abu Dhabi is witnessing the execution of Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ), one of the largest port and industrial zone projects in the world. The port is an 2.7km2 island, with 3.4 km2 of port area, an 800m x 3.6 km basin at a depth of 16m and a 250 x 12 km approach channel at a depth of 16.5 m, thus making it one of the largest ports in the UAE and the region. ‘The fact that the World Trade Organization raised its forecast for the expansion of international trade this year to 13.5 percent in view of a faster than expected recovery in global trade flows should boost the chances of success for this important summit’, Al-Mas noted. Al-Mas referred to the huge investments of the region post the global financial crisis and recession period and stated that the UAE is focusing on developing ports and enhancing trade flows and economic activity in the region, building on its long expertise in this field and its internationally renowned companies, including Abu Dhabi Ship building Company and DP World. On the sidelines of the summit, the World Ports and Trade Conference will discuss the challenges and transformations in the port and trade industry, underlining the vital role of this industry at present as well as its future prospects. The summit activities will include an international exhibition consisting of major companies, ports and local and international industrial zones, in addition to a number of training workshops.
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