Held under the theme “Digitalising Trade”
Abu Dhabi Ports, the master developer, operator and manager of the Emirate's commercial and community ports as well as Khalifa Industrial Zone, today held the annual International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA) Conference in Abu Dhabi.
Hosted by Maqta Gateway, a wholly owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Ports, for the first time in the GCC region, the conference has welcomed more than 100 industry experts and executives representing prominent local, regional and international companies and organisations.
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, commented: "The UAE has embraced technology and knowledge as a means to create innovative solutions and has become a pioneering country in developing smart cities. At Abu Dhabi Ports, we have adopted a similar model in order to realise our vision to become the preferred provider of world-class integrated ports and industrial zone services."
"Adopting technology and keeping up with the latest developments is a crucial element in the process of developing infrastructure and for that, we are privileged to be hosting this year's annual conference of IPCSA to facilitate knowledge exchange and sharing of expertise between the regional and the international communities. This brings us closer to achieving our objectives and paves the way for future mutual success," he added.
Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri, General Manager of Maqta Gateway, said: "Digital transformation accelerates our business activities and processes through providing services in an innovative way that boosts competencies. We have utilised the most developed technologies to keep up with the requests of our customers in a digital era but technology alone is not enough; it is imperative that we involve young talent in order to revamp the traditional business model and ensure customer satisfaction. With that, we have realised that the future is not only tied to infrastructure development but also smarter approaches and seamless integration of the port community. Abu Dhabi Ports has adopted digital programmes that are driven by connecting the different applications to provide world class services and we are very proud of the progress we have achieved over the past few years."
"We are thrilled to be hosting this year's conference of IPCSA which is testament of our responsibility towards promoting port community systems locally, regionally and internationally," she added.
Alan Long, Chairman of IPCSA added: "We see that Port Community Systems are becoming much more than just localised systems, they are becoming part of a much wider Trade Facilitation programme and with the World Trade Organisation's Trade Facilitation Agreement close to being ratified, the role of Port Community Systems is extending beyond the traditional port environment to include all modes of transport – air, rail, road and extending beyond imports, exports and transhipment traffic to include hinterland logistics centres and industrial zones."
"On behalf of IPCSA I would like to thank Abu Dhabi Ports for hosting the IPCSA 2016 Conference and congratulate you on the progress you have made on making Maqta Gateway an integral part of supporting UAE Trade Facilitation ambitions," he concluded.
The event was officially opened by Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi and Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri, followed by a keynote address given by Alan Long.
Held under the theme "Digitalising Trade", the Conference featured 12 speakers and was kicked-off with a panel discussion titled: "Strategic Direction of the Global Supply Chain", during which David Kerr, Senior Vice President of Cargo at Etihad Airways; and Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail DB, shared their insights and best practices.
Delegates and speakers at the session discussed their digital transformation plans in providing services while benefiting from the strategic location and world-class infrastructure of the UAE which connects them to the most prominent regional and international markets. They also unanimously agreed on the value of adopting technology and digital systems and the role they play in ensuring business transactions are made faster, easier, more secure, transparent, and of higher quality.
The second panel discussed the topic of "Facilitating Global Trade". H.H. Ahmed Bin Lahej, Executive Director of Customs Affairs Sector at the UAE Federal Customs Authority; Virginia Cram-Martos, Director Economic Cooperation, Trade at the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe); and Mr Frank Janssens, Head of Unit at the European Commission - DG TAXUD, were the session's key panellists.
The third and final panel discussion of the day addressed the event's theme "Digitalising Trade" and highlighted local, regional, and international models presented by Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri, General Manager of Maqta Gateway; Dr. Phanthian Zuesongdham, Head Of Smart Port Programme of Hamburg Port Authority; and Hans Rook, Senior Business Development Consultant at Portbase Rotterdam.
During the conference Mr. Rook was also announced as the new chairman of IPCSA and will be taking up his new role as from the first of January.