UAE Logistics sector is on the right track, says Schröder

Published March 15th, 2010 - 09:07 GMT

The first Global Logistics Forum commenced successfully in the presence of Gerhard Schröder, Former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, wherein he stressed that GCC countries, specifically the UAE, have set the right courses for Global Logistics Services by investing heavily into logistics and transport infrastructure in the last years.


Held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Rulers Representative in the Western Region, more than 200 regional and global logistics professionals gathered in the forum to discuss ways of bridging the gap between the global supply chain industry and the regional logistics sector.


Government officials and local industry leaders also came led by Abdulla Rashid Khalaf Al Otaiba, Chairman of the Department of Transport, Member of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi and Director of the Board, Abu Dhabi Ports Company; Ali Saeed Bin Harmal Al Dhaheri, Abu Dhabi University Chairman; Tawfiq Al Mubarak, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Abu Dhabi Ports Company; and Mohamed Al Shamisi, Vice President Operations, Ports Unit, Abu Dhabi Ports Company among others.


During the forum’s keynote speech, Schröder further noted that the steps that the UAE has taken had been clearly evidenced by a recent report of the Logistics Performance Index (LPI) by the World Bank, which was based on a comprehensive assessment of the logistics performance of a country, wherein the UAE was ranked 24th among 155 countries. 


He also highlighted that the forum was one pillar of the long-term partnership between the UAE and Germany in the field of logistics and transport. A joint initiative by the Abu Dhabi University and Berlin Institute of Technology (TU Berlin) Chair of Logistics, the event, according to Schröder, provided an international platform to exchange knowledge, experience and to build academic and industrial relationships between locally renowned and leading logistics experts.


The forum was organised by Aim Events, the events management division of Abu Dhabi University. It was supported by Abu Dhabi Ports Company, the event’s platinum sponsor.


Sharing the development of Port Infrastructure in Abu Dhabi, Al Shamisi said during his presentation, “Various expansion projects being rolled out by the Abu Dhabi government will ensure that there is enough capacity in its Sea Ports to strengthen its position as a centre of international trade.


“The Khalifa Port and Industrial Zone (KPIZ), once completed, is expected to provide 70,000 jobs and will contribute up to US$22 billion to the country’s GDP by 2030. In addition, this will advance Abu Dhabi’s brand as a world-class industrial hub and attractive residential location,” he said.



The first round of speakers included Al Shamisi, who discussed the development of port infrastructure in Abu Dhabi, while Prof. Dr. Stephan Reimelt, Chief Executive Officer, IPIC Ferrostaal Contracting and Member of the Executive Board of MAN Ferrostaal AG explained the challenges and success factors of local projects run by global players as well as the requirements of local large industry infrastructure projects to local policy makers.


The development of a high performance rail-based logistics network in the UAE was discussed by Richard Bowker, Chief Executive Officer while Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank Straube, member of the Management Board of the European Logistics Association and member of the Advisory Board of the German Logistics Associatin (BVL) talked about the trends in Global Logistics and Transport.


Other speakers included Erich Staake, Chief Executive Officer, Duisburger Hafen AG; Prof. Lauri Ojala, Research and Education Turku School of Economics, Finland; Dr. Ulrich Eberhard, BASF, AG, Head of Global Process Design and Integration; Frederic Hendrick, Chairman of the Management Board of the French Logistics Association (ASLOG) Alstom; Peter Glatz, Chief Executive Officer, Schenker Middle East; and Prof Dr.-Ing Thomas Wimmer, Chairman of the Management Board, BVL.


Among the topics mentioned were success factors of infrastructure operators in Europe – Learning and Transferability for Middle East, GCC-Countries Logistics Performance Index-Worldbank Rating, and the customer needs in global operations. Also discussed were understanding impediments for logistics growth in the Middle East, challenges and success factors of collaboration with suppliers, infrastructure operators and customers in the region, and the relevance of local and global logistics business networks for the development of logistics markets.


Furthermore, a unique plenary session were held wherein logistics experts from China, Europe, the USA, Brazil and Singapore tackled about the success factors, challenges and enablers of growing logistics markets for dedicated countries.


The second day of the forum will feature a series of technical workshops discussing logistics infrastructure optimisation, innovative transportation concepts and customer-oriented development of logistics services.


The forum was organised by Aim Events, the events management division of Abu Dhabi University. It was supported by the Institute for Vocational Development, a member of the Abu Dhabi University Knowledge Group; The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport; and BVL, the German Logistics Association.

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