Full steam ahead

May 20, 2003
Author: P&S

The IAPH 2003 conference of world ports is almost upon Durban with frantic last minute arrangements going ahead to make this a truly memorable affair.

Between Saturday May 24 until Friday May 30 approximately 800 delegates and exhibitors will attend the 23rd conference of the International Association of Ports and Harbours being held at the ICC in Durban.

“This conference is an exceptionally important event – not only for the National Ports Authority and South Africa – but also for Africa as a whole,” says Siyabonga Gama, chief executive of the National Ports Authority of SA and IAPH conference chairman.

“This is the first time that the continent of Africa has the privilege to play host to the world leaders from the International Association of Ports & Harbours. For this reason we have worked hard at putting together a conference that offers an exciting, topical and dynamic business programme, along with a pleasant and memorable experience of our wonderful country.”

Mr Gama said that the theme of the conference, ‘World Ports: The Catalytic Impact’ was an appropriate theme considering the role that ports play in promoting trade in a rapidly globalised world trade system. He said that although South Africa’s ports handle a little more than 2 % of world trade, the drive to make our ports world class was an important factor in repositioning the country as a globally competitive nation in terms of trade facilitation.

“We are therefore proud to stage one of the most prominent maritime-related exhibitions ever held in Africa. This exhibition, which has the support of a number of government, scientific and commercial organisations, as well as major shipping firms, not only supports the conference but highlights the latest maritime technology while presenting trade opportunities regionally and globally.”

By hosting the world ports conference in Durban, the NPA has created a tremendous opportunity to showcase South Africa and its people. It will also bring a lot of tourism benefit to Durban and highlight South Africa’s re-emergence as a destination for port investments and is appropriately timed as SA starts its port concessioning process.

Note: The International Association of Ports & Harbours (IAPH) is a worldwide association founded in 1955 in Los Angeles as a non-profit-making, non-governmental organisation with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. Its motto ‘World Peace Through World Trade, World Trade Through World Ports’ best sums up its reason for existence.

The IAPH is often referred to as the “World Ports Association” (WPA) in which active players in the global port community, namely port CEOs, port directors and port managers are represented to promote and advance the common interests of their community.

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