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Originally published 29 October 2018
An official agreement covering bilateral cooperation between countries was signed by The Dubai Maritime Cluster Office of the Dubai Maritime City Authority and the Maritime Cluster of the Panama Maritime Authority to mark the opening of Seatrade Maritime Middle East 2018.
His Excellency (H.E.) Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World; Chairman of Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation and Chairman of DMCA and H.E. Eduardo Fonseca Ward, Ambassador of the Republic of Panama, witnessed the agreement that was signed between Amer Ali, Executive Director, DMCA and Alejandro Agustin Moreno Velasquez, Vice Minister of Maritime Affairs, Panama Maritime Authority in the presence of Chris Hayman, Chairman of Seatrade.
The opening ceremony was immediately followed by ‘Smart Ports and Smart Carriers,’ a session held in association with DP World. The session was an integral part of UAE Maritime Week of which Seatrade Maritime Middle East is the official exhibition.
The exhibition, which is being held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, UAE, is set to run until October 31, bringing together ship owners and managers, port operators and cargo owners, C-Suite stakeholders, financiers, and other maritime professionals under one roof to network, engage in business, strengthen existing ties and to nurture new relationships. The seminars on the opening day of Seatrade Maritime Middle East 2018 focused on the optimization of the digital ecosystem for the supply chain and hosted the much-awaited Parliamentary Debate on the readiness of regional shipping industry in embracing smart shipping. The seminar on the optimization of the digital ecosystem brought together leading players in the region’s maritime and logistics sector and technology innovators to chalk out industry’s roadmap towards digitalization, and the implications of new revolutionary technologies in its future.
The Seatrade Parliamentary Debate - Motion: ‘This House believes that the shipping industry is not ready to embrace smart shipping’ emerged as the most important highlight of day one of SMME 2018, as it explored the potential of smart shipping in redefining the fundamentals of ship operation. With Jasamin Fichte, Managing Partner, Fichte & Co, as the Debate Chairman, the session examined the industry’s readiness to embrace emerging technologies and the efficiencies they offer, while also taking into consideration the regulatory framework that needed to be established in light of these advancements. The debate brought together six leading figures from the industry, where three of them spoke for the motion and the other three against it.
Chris Hayman, Chairman of Seatrade, said: “With digital technology and big data driving radical new solutions including autonomous ships, the time is ripe to discuss the implications of some of these innovative technologies brought about by the ongoing digital transformation in the sector. The seminar topics for the 2018 edition of Seatrade Maritime Middle East were chosen after carefully considering the inevitable transformation the industry is currently going through and the challenges and opportunities associated with it. The hosting of these forums will thus play an integral role in defining the roadmap for the industry’s future.”
The topics to be discussed on the second day of seminars as part of the exhibition include a session titled ‘Original Intelligence: Maritime's Human Backbone,’ which will review the importance of the human element in maritime safety, security and environmental protection and another one titled ‘Can Going Green Save the Green’ to review the sustainability of the sector. As the International Maritime Organization (IMO) continue to intensify its sustainability efforts to regulate merchant shipping, a panel will deliberate whether shipping can continue to provide a dependable, low-cost means of transporting goods globally, facilitating commerce and helping to create prosperity among nations and peoples.