Ministers to Address Industry Leaders

Government heads of transport and of economy & planning, to highlight opportunities in Kingdom’s ports and shipping sector as region’s largest economy looks to maritime industry to support economic growth

By MarEx 2014-06-25 14:21:00

HE Dr. Jubarah Bin Eid Al-Suraiseri, Minister of Transport will deliver the keynote address to more than 200 maritime professionals at the inaugural Saudi Maritime Congress, which takes place on 25-26 November 2014 at the Sheraton Dammam Hotel & Towers. The minister will head a line-up of 15 top industry leaders, international analysts and academics with an insightful session on the Kingdom’s current economic outlook.

The event which is being organized by Seatrade, in strategic partnership with Saudi shipping giant Bahri and held under the patronage of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Transport and the Saudi Ports Authority, will also feature a high level opening panel session, debating the investment strategies being implemented (in Saudi Arabia) to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding economy. 

To discuss this critical path, a panel of eminent speakers have agreed to participate including HE Dr Mohammed Al Jasser, Minister of Economy & Planning, HE Eng. Abdul Aziz Mohammed Al Tuwaijri, President, Saudi Ports Authority, and Saleh N. Al Jasser, Chief Executive Officer of Bahri.

“Saudi Arabia is experiencing exponential growth across its ports and shipping network with a healthy US$30 billion pipeline of sea and land mega-projects under the government’s current five-year plan and a total investment of US$100 billion through to 2020. With the recent news of plans for development of a world-class maritime yard following the MoU signing between Saudi Aramco and the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) and Sembcorp Marine Ltd., the Kingdom is moving towards a new era in maritime services and the congress is a timely platform for high level industry discussion,” said Chris Hayman, Chairman of Seatrade, the organizer of the Saudi Maritime Congress.

A series of focused panel discussions and presentations will offer an insight into key aspects of the region’s dynamic maritime sector, including an overview of offshore oil and gas development in the Red Sea, Gulf and the Kingdom on day one with Saleh Al-Jasser, CEO of The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) providing a pertinent analysis of this rapidly growing sector in light of the launch of the company’s gas and offshore business unit.

Al-Jasser will be joined by Mark Long, Global Head of Transport, Shipping, Services & Offshore at HSBC Bank; Khaled Hashim, Managing Director of Precious Shipping Company; and session chairman, Abdul Rahman Al Rashid, former Chairman of Saudi Chamber of Commerce and Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce; to discuss ways in which domestic, regional and international companies can partner with Saudi government companies in the offshore sector. 

The ‘Careers in Shipping’ session on day two will address the Kingdom’s pressing need to create some three million jobs for Saudi nationals by 2015 as per the Saudi Ministry of Labor, with the maritime sector an obvious driver for long term career opportunities. 

Dr. Malcolm Willingale from the Cambridge Academy of Transport in the UK will lead a panel of local experts in exploring how Saudi Arabia's FDI inflow, which stood at US$ 12.2 billion in 2012 according to the UN World Investment Report 2013, can be used to help to create new jobs in the maritime, trade and logistics sectors.  

“The Gulf’s position as an emerging hub for maritime services excellence and world-class facilities is bringing a wealth of new opportunities to the region’s operators and international investment to its shores. The Saudi Maritime Congress will offer key players from across the industry a unique environment in which to crystallize strategies, share innovative insight and build successful business relationships,” said Hayman.

Other session topics include discussions on Saudi Arabia’s changing regulatory environment and its expected impact on the industry, ship operations and security, a shipyard update and analysis current project opportunities, expansion and future development in the Kingdom, and logistics solutions for ports and terminals to meet the challenges of expanding cargo volumes and the role of automation in efficient port operations.

The confirmed list of speakers will welcome industry luminaries and thought leaders including Khalid Abdullah Al Ghamdi, General Manager for Freight and Project Logistics, Almajdouie Logistics Co., Saudi Arabia; Naeem Ibrahim Al-Naeem, Director General, King Abdulaziz Port; Anderson Goh, Chief Executive Officer, Saudi Global Ports Co LLC; Robert Houston, President, Mideast Ship Management Ltd; and Mark Long, Global Head of Transport, Shipping, Services & Offshore, HSBC Bank Plc.

The event will also be complemented by an associated exhibition including leading shipping lines, shippers, cargo owners, forwarders, logistic companies, port terminal operators, port equipment and service suppliers.

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