JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has highlighted the importance of developing the maritime industry, not only locally but also internationally — as well as preserving the sustainable growth of the “blue economy.” Saudi Public Transport Authority (PTA) Chairman Dr. Rumaih Al-Rumaih made the comments during his speech at the opening of the “Sustainable Marine Development Toward 2030 and Beyond” conference that began at Jeddah’s Hilton Hotel on Tuesday.
The conference, organized by the PTA from Nov. 5-7, was attended by International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim as well as experts and speakers from member states.
Other prominent speakers included Nancy Karigithu, a Kenyan maritime law expert; World Maritime University President Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry; International Association of Marine Aid and Lighthouses President Gradin Delanoe; and IMO Director of Legal and External Affairs Frederick Kenny.
Al-Rumaih said that the support of the leadership of the transport industry in general, and the maritime transport in particular, had the greatest impact in enhancing the Kingdom’s position internationally.
The Saudi fleet consists of 368 cargos and Saudi-flagged vessels. “This giant fleet plays a pivotal role in an important industry which 90 percent of the world trade movement relies on. This consolidates the Kingdom’s position at the international level. Furthermore, it confirms its keenness to transform the Kingdom into a global logistics center to achieve the Kingdom’s Vision 2030,” he said.
Commenting on the importance of the international conference, Al-Rumaih said: “This conference demonstrates the Kingdom’s belief that sustainable maritime development has a priority shared by the Kingdom with various member states.”
Fareed Al-Qahtani, vice chairman of the PTA for the maritime transport sector, said: “The Kingdom looks forward to strengthening its partnerships with the member states of the IMO, contributing to the achievement of the UN plan for sustainable development for 2030, enhancing maritime security and safety, and protecting the marine environment, as well as accelerating the implementation of the initiatives of the IMO to reduce pollution resulting from maritime navigation.”
He added that the conference would highlight the “blue economy,” the unified maritime action convention and its importance to create the right environment for seafarers. “It will also highlight the efforts of the International Association of Marine Aid and Lighthouses (IALA), and what they offer in the fields of the safety of shipping lanes and ships,” he said.
Al-Qahtani said that a special session would be held on Wednesday evening to highlight the Kingdom’s position and its commitment to implement all international conventions regulating maritime transport, as well as the introduction of the King Salman Complex for Maritime Industries as an important qualitative monument in the world.