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 Dr.Priyath B.Wickrama Chairman of SLPA addresses the World Ports and Trade Summit 2011 in Abu Dhabi

Dr.Priyath B.Wickrama

The World Ports and Trade Summit commences today the 28th March 2011 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). It will be held  from 28 to 30 March 2011 and will run alongside the World Ports & Trade Summit exhibition which is held under the patronage of H.H. General Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. 

A number of rising current issues of the maritime transportation, pertaining to procurement- strategic sourcing, door to door transportation and the need for land based infrastructure to match the efficiency of new terminal investment, cargo handling technology, supply chain technology and the role of IT and  health and safety management will be among the major topics to be discussed during the sessions, and  Dr.Priyath B.Wickrama, Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority(SLPA)  will address the session today on  the day of inauguration of the summit on the topic of  'Cargo Handling and Terminal Operations.' The address will have the main focus on core competencies and skills required of Ports Authorities and Terminal operators in todays in transhipment hubs. 

The three day summit will also discuss on  the recovery that  influences the pattern of trade as the world economy moves out of recession. The  intra-Asian trade's expected most significant growth in 2011, driven by economic growth in China and India, the major freight markets performance, given the massive order book for new capacity for the major bulk and container trades, as well as  the principal drivers of growth in the Middle East region as the region invests heavily in new port infrastructure, are among the other related topics to be discussed. 

The summit will have an exclusive concern over  the  future challenges and opportunities for the Middle East, as matters pertaining to the Middle East ports sector's possible potentials to  position itself for the challenges and opportunities of the longer term will be discussed. A review of the port investment strategy of the region, in light of anticipated cargo volumes and the implications of reconstruction in Iraq for the ports sector will be presented. 

Upon the    drivers of the freight market  a detailed analysis of the medium term outlook will also be performed at the summit. A panel discussion representing shippers from the region as well as cargo interests and representatives from the container and break-bulk shipping sectors will discuss on key drivers for the container shipping sector, expanding markets in India and the African continent and the implications for trade and shipping, break-bulk and project cargoes, hinterland infrastructure development from transport to petrochemicals and the impact of fuel costs on liner trades. 

Meanwhile major discussion will also take place on the pattern of energy transport from the region, looking at crude oil, products and gas exports, and the infrastructure investment taking place to support this and the expansion of dry bulk cargo movements across the region upon the topic of energy transportation and bulk cargoes. 

The conclusion of the three day summit will have a closer look at the port security and the ISPS Code, the green challenge, policies for port environmental protection, customs regulation and the development of free zones and the  risk based approach to terminal operations. 

The World Ports and Trade Summit that commences today, is also addressed by Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade, UAE, J Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization (IMO), Sheikh Sabah Jaber Al Ali Al-Sabah, General Manager, Kuwait Ports Authority, Kuwait, Jamal Majid Bin Thaniah, Group Chief Executive Officer, Dubai World, Group CEO Ports & Free Zone World, Joint Vice Chairman, DP World, and a number of other key personages in the trade of logistics transportation  in the international arena. Dr Jurgen Sorgenfrei, Head of the Maritime & Hinterland, IHS Global Insight, Aamer Alireza, CEO, Red Sea Gateway Terminal, Russel J. Held, Deputy Executive Director, Development, Virgina Port Authority, Monica M. Bonvalet, Director - Head of Shipping Department, Development Division,  Marseille-Fos Port Authority, Ronnie Knowles, Managing Director – Abu Dhabi, GAC Group, and Mahmood Albastaki, Director, Dubai Trade will also conduct key sessions at the summit.

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