His Excellency Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Balheif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority - Land and Maritime (FTA) praised the great achievements made for the period of 2018-2019 during UAE's membership in the IMO's council and the strengthening of UAE's position on the maritime map for re-nomination to the IMO's category (b) council membership.
This news came during the periodic press briefing of the FTA within the framework of the federal government's efforts to promote and adopt the best practices of governmental communication and to achieve greater openness, cooperation and direct communication with the local media because of its important role in highlighting the achievements of the government and delivering the observations and suggestions about its services offered to the public.
During the briefing held at Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi Hotel, H.E. Al Nuaimi praised the directives of the wise leadership towards establishing a culture of continuous communication between the federal institutions and the community in all its categories, institutions and individuals. H.E. also stressed that the system of periodic press briefings will push forward the level of FTA's dealings with the media and the public alike.
H.E. Al Nuaimi said that the UAE continues its efforts to hold advanced rankings in all fields and indicators of the international maritime transport industry by announcing the great achievements made during the period of 2018-2019 of the UAE's membership in the IMO and the strengthening of UAE's position on the maritime map for re-nomination to the IMO's category (b) council membership. This came after the UAE has held the 14th randing globally on all maritime indicators, classifications and major performance levels in terms of the activities of the global shipping industry. The UAE is trying hard to improve its position in the latest indicators and ratings to determine the performance of the leading maritime countries and provide information about the world's
leading maritime countries for the year 2018, with a focus on promoting investment and providing the world's leading marine capital available for marine investment and bringing it to the state, while working on a comprehensive review of the state's potential in the marine industry at the national, regional and international levels.
H.E. said that the FTA through the maritime transport sector has provided a comprehensive perspective on the future trends and features of the maritime transport industry in the UAE in coordination with FTA's strategic partners to maximize interests and investments in the maritime transport industry and enable such partners to have a better picture of the latest developments and trends in maritime transport.
H.E. stressed the importance of the success of the measures and policies of the maritime institutions in regulation, control and development, introducing modern technology and innovation in the development of standards of safety and protection of the marine environment and security, including cyber safety of ships and the management of maritime assets efficiently and the activities of higher education in maritime transport at the national level to assess the return on investments from the activities of the maritime transport industry.
The importance of these trends stems from the creation of viable investment opportunities for a large number of stakeholders in maritime investment and the construction of their plans and policies in the investment, management and operation of maritime transport, in order maximize its potential and economic returns and increase its participation in the total national income in the future. The maritime transport sector in the country has improved its performance in a number of directions and main indicators for measuring maritime development, based on the definition of the maritime transport industry which represents all establishments or companies that own, operate, design, construct or rehabilitate ship crews or sell or receive equipment, or provide specialized services for all types of ships and other floating marine units.
H.E. added that the set of trends and indicators of the main measure of marine development comes in seven major groups as follows:
The flag country's performance in the UAE and in development of legislation and policies (modernization of maritime law), the development of supervision of shipping and navigation companies to increase efficiency, quality, investment, marine insurance, marine technology, ports and logistics services (development of container and cargo handling) and marine information (launching the National Center for Maritime and Navigation Information)
H.E. added that the main trends and indicators for measuring maritime development in the country will serve to enhance the strategic, technical and economic benefits of maritime transport in the country in general.
1- Strategic Benefits
Increasing and expanding channels and mechanisms of communication and international cooperation and identifying all developments to serve sustainable development in the maritime transport in the country as an economic sector at a significant level of importance. This comes after the oil sector in addition to the continued presence in the IMO's Council, which will have an impact on the continued improvement of the image and status of the UAE in all maritime economic indicators and ports and create an attractive economic environment for marine projects in the country at all levels.
2- Technical Benefits of the Maritime and Ports Sector in the UAE:
The technical benefits were clearly present in direct access and participation in the formulation of standards and the sourcing of technical information, as well as in draft decisions and contribution to the development of amendments and the addition of drafts and standards issued by the IMO before passing and adoption and before becoming mandatory.
3- Economic and Marketing Benefits:
- The continued presence of the UAE as an active member of the IMO Council over the past two years has been a golden opportunity to open up all forms of national investments to spread and expand globally, directly and continuously in terms of port systems and facilitating the international maritime traffic (Thuraya Telecom, Maktaa Portal Project, unification of marine search and rescue standards)
- Enhancing the reputation of the maritime transport sector and its regulation in the country, which will pave the way to attracting more investments in this sector, in particular the ownership and operation of ships and auxiliary marine industries such as dry docks for ship maintenance in the UAE and supporting marine industries. This will also lead to attracting important investments and strengthening industries in the maritime transport sector and the growth of economic returns on the sector and thus to the state.
In 2018, the FTA worked to make the UAE a regional center to provide assistance in building marine capacities, enhancing the work of maritime administrations on the human side, training specialists and increasing the number of maritime experts in the Mediterranean region and the Arabian Gulf through:
1- Membership of the UAE in the IMO Council and its Technical Cooperation Program.
2- Completing procedures for the establishment of the Permanent Commission of the UE and support for the work of the Permanent Representative of the UAE in the International Maritime Organization.
3- Joining a number of important international maritime conventions and protocols.
4- Attending all meetings of the IMO and its main and subsidiary committees at the IMO's headquarters during the year 2018.
5- Raising the number of UAE ports approved by the World Health Organization Regulations from 8 in 2016 to 12 in 2017.
6- Raising the number of ports set up by environmentally sound ports systems and provide reception facilities for all types of ship waste and wastewater from 10 facilities in 2017 to 18 facilities in 2018 distributed on all ports of the country and approved by the International Maritime Organization.
At the national level, the FTA has worked to develop the maritime transport industry in the country as follows:
1- Completion of drafting the Maritime Law Modernization to meet the requirements of maritime development.
2- The completion of the issuing several regulatory decisions for the maritime transport sector and the development and adoption of a set of comprehensive regulatory policies for the maritime sector of the UAE.
3- Holding several workshops and internal training courses by maritime sector experts in the FTA; organizing joint meetings and joint extended sessions for all the maritime transport representatives and ports sector of the state through discussion of several important topics and future strategies of maritime transport in the country.
4- Participation in all investigations of marine accidents that took place in the ports of the State in cooperation with international houses of expertise, and reporting to the IMO.
5- Development and implementation of a comprehensive integrated plan for auditing maritime ports in the UAE in accordance with international requirements to achieve security and protection of the marine environment, which included all major maritime ports in the country.
6- Coordination with local authorities and ports to reduce the phenomenon of abandonment of ships and protect navigators.
The FTA has made efforts to provide the best living conditions for crews of UAE or foreign vessels visiting the UAE waters. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the FTA and the ITF at the headquarters of the IMO's headquarters in London
on 16/5/2018 as part of the FTA's efforts to protect the rights of seafarers on board ships to work in a safe working environment and decent living conditions.
The decision of the FTA's Chairman to provide insurance cover on liabilities of ship owners towards seafarers was issued to cover cases of desertion by seafarers on national and foreign vessels anchored in UAE waters.
It is worth noting that the UAE has also occupied several advanced global rankings in all maritime indicators, classifications and major performance levels in the activities of the global maritime transport industry through announcing results of several reports by several international bodies, for example:
- Annual UN Conference Report on Trade and Development.
- Sea Trade International Magazine
- Maritime Standard Magazine
At the end of the press briefing, H.E. opened a dialogue and discussion and received questions from media representatives and answered them to achieve the goal required to organize the press briefing.