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FIATA-RAME opens in Dubai

Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum

FIATA-RAME Field Meeting & Conference opens in Dubai discussing strategies to build resilient supply chain ecosystem

  • Organised under the theme ‘Connectivity, Resilience, and Sustainability in Global Supply Chains and Trade,’ the event brought together over 600 industry leaders and CEOs on day-one
  • The Middle East and Africa logistics market is currently valued at US$ 163.57 billion, and it is forecasted to reach US$ 222.63 billion by 2029 at a rate of 6.36% annually.

Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Saeed Al Maktoum, Honorary patron of NAFL, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) RAME (Region Africa Middle East) field meeting and the conference opened today at Atlantis Hotel Dubai, in the presence H.E Humaid Bin Salem-Chairman of International Chamber of Commerce UAE, discussing the strategies for seamless logistics ecosystem in the face of geo-political disruptions.

The two-day conference organised by NAFL, under the theme ‘Connectivity, Resilience, and Sustainability in Global Supply Chains and Trade’, delves into the trade disruption due to geo-political issues and strategies for a burgeoning MEA logistics market, currently valued at US$ 163.57 billion and forecasted to reach US$ 222.63 billion in 2029. The event also hosted the FIATA RAME Official Meeting featuring FIATA RAME Chair Dr. Juanita Maree; Dr. Stéphane Graber, FIATA Director General and FIATA global President Mr. Turgut Erkeskin.

In his opening remarks, H.E. Humaid Bin Salem, Chairman of the UAE International Chamber of Commerce, emphasised the UAE’s commitment to facilitating and promoting global trade through seamless multimodal connectivity. “In line with the UAE’s goals to diversify the economy, the ICC shares FIATA’s vision to facilitate global trade. In the face of global supply chain disruptions, whether due to natural disasters or geo-political events, it is imperative that we think globally and work as one cohesive team. The connectivity offered by the UAE, whether by air, land or sea, plays a crucial role. Beyond the UAE, the GCC region, particularly Qatar and Saudi Arabia, is very active, promoting trade and offering investment opportunities. We are keen to learn from our peers and work together to improve the private sector. I would therefore encourage everyone to actively participate in the discussions and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Federal Chambers or the ICC. We are here to support the needs of the private sector,” he said.

The opening ceremony was preceded by a welcome keynote by Mr. Turgut Erkeskin, President of FIATA, who delivered a comprehensive overview of the global challenges and evolving trends in the logistics sector. Highlighting the RAME region’s strategic position as a hub connecting continents, he said: “In today’s dynamic global landscape, the FIATA-RAME meeting stands as a strategic platform, offering pragmatic insights as we gather against the backdrop of unprecedented disruptions in the Red Sea, geo-political tensions and environmental concerns. As globalisation dynamics are shifting, global trade is impacted by geo-political developments anywhere. Yet, amidst these challenges lie opportunities for resilience and adaptation. Our mission transcends problem-solving; it advocates for an approach rooted in agility, creativity, and strategic planning.”

“Our priority at this year’s meeting is to explore collective solutions to regional challenges because nothing is local in today’s world, especially logistics. We are hopeful as the RAME region holds tremendous potential with some of the most sophisticated ports and airports and a dynamic young workforce ready to strengthen and enhance business processes. We had over 400 FIATA specialised diploma graduates in 2023 from the Middle East region; there is no challenge that we cannot overcome when such qualified workforce and expertise exist in the region,” added.

Mr. Turgut Erkisken concluded by saying that world trade and logistics flourish when there is peace, predictability and sustainability. “We hope that current uncertainties, end soon as we move into the future, strengthening existing trade routes will function while building regional corridors offering seamless global connectivity. With a focus on practical solutions and actionable insights, we strive not only to address challenges but also to forge a path towards a more resilient, sustainable, and interconnected future for all stakeholders in the global logistics arena.”

Ms Nadia Abdul Aziz welcomed over 600 delegates, representing 16 FIATA member associations, with 11 from the Arica & Middle East region from more than 29 countries. Emphasising the significance of UAE hosting the meeting, she said: “The UAE remains a global gateway for logistics and trade with investor-friendly policies and synchronisation with international markets. In the UAE, initiatives like the 10-year visa, pro-investment policies, and a robust sustainability plan to reduce carbon emissions by 2050 foster an environment ripe for growth. Our commitment to excellence is reflected in our ranking as the top destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) and the 7th place ranking on the global logistics index.”

The event highlighted the latest initiatives, including advancements in digitalisation and implementing the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme undertaken by Dubai Customs. In the following presentations, Dubai Chamber highlighted its international services tailored for corporates and investors, with a particular focus on fostering business research and sustainability efforts. Meanwhile, Dubai South showcased its offerings encompassing e-commerce, logistics growth, and the Sea-Air Free Zone.

The panel discussions on day one highlighted the evolving logistics sector across the region under the theme “GCC Market Overview, Opportunities, and Growth Areas.”  Featured panellists at the session included Mr. Gopal R., Senior Vice President of the Supply Chain & Logistics Practice at Frost & Sullivan. H.E. Eng. Ali Bin Abdulatif Al Mesned, Qatar Chamber Board Member and President of the Qatar Association of Freight and Logistics (QAFL) elaborated on Qatar’s opportunities and economic growth prospects, providing an overview of the latest freight forwarding and trading ecosystem advancements.

Representing the Saudi Ministry of Investment Mr. Majed Alsaadi and Ms. Reem Abdul Aziz Hasanain, along with Ms. Amal Balghunaim from the Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services and Mr. Abdullah Daoud from the Ministry of Transport & Logistics, shed light on opportunities in logistics and trade sector within KSA. The session highlighted the National Industrial Development & Logistics Program (NIDLP) and outlined the logistics strategy for KSA’s transportation and logistics services sector.

Running until tomorrow the event acts as a platform for bringing together key stakeholders –industry leaders, innovators, and thought leaders – to shape the future of logistics in the MEA region.

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