Abu Dhabi to host key maritime sector event next week amid global supply disruptions

The Ports Authorities Roundtable 2022 will be held in the capital from May 31 to June 2

A container ship docked at the Port of Oakland, in California. The Port Authorities Roundtable in Abu Dhabi will discuss issues affecting the maritime sector amid supply disruptions and backlogs at the ports. AFP
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Abu Dhabi will host a major annual maritime sector event next week, to discuss issues affecting ports around the world, as supply disruptions continue amid the coronavirus pandemic and war in Ukraine.

The seventh Ports Authorities Roundtable, which will be hosted by AD Ports Group, will take place in the capital from May 31 to June 2 under the theme “Reimagining a New Era of Trade Together", the company said.

This is the first time the event is being held in the Middle East. It will bring together port authorities from around the world to "strengthen consensus and co-operation in the industry", the company said.

"Exceptional challenges faced in recent years have not only demonstrated the crucial role of trade in sustaining economic recovery, but have also created opportunities to fast-track critical developments," said Capt Mohamed Al Shamisi, managing director and group chief executive of AD Ports Group.

"This event represents a key moment for progressive and productive dialogue on our collective response, and conversations will be an essential cornerstone to establishing actionable road maps for the future growth of our industry.”

Supply chain concerns have grown around the world, because of cargo backlogs at global ports caused by the pandemic. China, the world's second largest economy, only recently reopened its port in Shanghai after a strict lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the war in Ukraine is also exacerbating the maritime industry's woes because of sanctions on Russia.

“The maritime industry has remained resilient in the face of unprecedented challenges with the Covid-19 pandemic," said Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

"With global supply chain disruption, ports around the world are doing their best to manage the disruption and facilitate the flow of vessels and goods."

The three-day event in Abu Dhabi will focus on four sub-themes — disruption, digitalisation, decarbonisation and diversification.

Experts will discuss the role of ports in the global supply chain, in energy transition, climate change and the digital evolution. Other topics include cross-border collaboration, the workforce of the future and cyber security.

The closed-door event will feature high-level representatives from key global ports including Antwerp, Barcelona, Busan, Guangzhou, Iraq, Kobe, Oman, Rotterdam, Saudi Arabia, Seattle, Singapore and Shanghai.

Updated: May 27, 2022, 2:30 PM