Ports of the world gathered in Azerbaijan
IAPH conference in Baku, the pearl of the Caspian, makes a new record
The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) convened in Baku, Azerbaijan, gathering members from all over the world for four days, under the theme “Ports of the Future: Building Hubs, Accelerating Connectivity.
Hosted by Baku International Sea Trade Port CJSC the event turned out to be the most successful and well-attended Mid-term conference of IAPH, attracting over 400 delegates, accompanying persons, speakers and exhibitors from 65 nations.
The opening ceremony was staged at Heydar Aliyev Center, a symbol of modern Baku; IAPH President Santiago García-Mila stressed the significance of holding an IAPH conference for the first time in Baku: “It is so meaningful for us, world port players, today to gather and debate in Baku, that used to be a key trading post of the ancient Silk Roads and now functions as an important hub port in this region.”
Ramin Namig oglu Guluzade, Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies officially welcomed the participants to the country of Azerbaijan and declared the conference open. “The restoration of the historic Silk Road on the initiative of the great leader Heydar Aliyev has created the ground for increasing the transit potential of Azerbaijan. Transport and logistics are one of the most dynamically developing areas in the world, and they are also a priority in our country and President Ilham Aliyev keeps it in the center of attention” he commented in his statement.
The ensuing working sessions tuned out to be an excellent forum to learn the latest trends of international trade, cultural diversity in maritime world, LNG bunkering operations, port efficiency through digitalization and disruptive technologies, green shipping and logistics, port financing, etc. in which guest speakers and panel presenters recruited from around the world offered some food for thought and debates; among the most notable and well known port executives in the world, they included: Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem,Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DP World, Elvyn G. Masassya, President Director of Indonesia Port Corporation, Michael Proffitt, Chairman and CEO of FMP.
Next IAPH annual conference is scheduled in Guangzhou, China, May 2019. Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) is a non-profit global alliance of roughly 170 ports and 140 maritime companies and institutes representing 90 countries, dedicated to fostering cooperation among ports and harbors and promoting the vital role they play in creating a peaceful, more prosperous world. Based in Tokyo and recognized as the only voice speaking for ports around the globe, the IAPH has Consultative NGO Status from the United Nations and is active in developing international trade and maritime policy.
Its member ports handle 80% of world container traffic and 60% of all international maritime trade.