IRU World Congress Starts

Muscat, Sayyid Asa’ad bin Tariq al- Said, Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Affairs, and Personal Representative of His Majesty the Sultan sponsored today at the Oman Exhibition and Convention Centre the opening of the International Road Transport Union (IRU) World Congress held under the theme ‘Innovation on the Move’. The two-day Congress is organized by the IRU and hosted by ASYAD in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The congress aims at sharing views on road transport and the future of this sector.

Sayyid Asa’ad bin Tariq al- Said affirmed that the Sultanate has always been an international hub for the transport of goods, maritime and air traffic.

He added in a statement to reporters that the Congress will add knowledge that will help in planning for the future. He noted that an ambitious program implemented by the Ministry of Transport and Communications and there are royal directives by H.M. Sultan Qaboos Bin Said to do everything possible to keep pace with the developments over the coming twenty years.

Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed al- Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications delivered a speech where he pointed out that ” This Congress provides a platform for supporting the transport sector and linking international trade routes with markets and highlighting the future changes in land transport sector.

He added that today, the Sultanate has world-class road networks linking ports, free zones, airports and industrial zones, and maintains three deep ports that serve the needs of emerging markets in India, East Africa, Iran and Gulf countries that are fully integrated with its free zones. Besides, Oman has five state-of-the-art airports. We work continuously towards augmenting integration with the global economic alliances and facilitating trade in order to enhance road transport ecosystem.

“We work continuously towards augmenting integration with the global economic alliances and facilitating trade in order to enhance road transport ecosystem, he furthered.

He added that hosting this World Congress is a testimony from the international community that the Sultanate is one of the advanced countries in the field of road transport and that everyone hails the high quality road networks ports and airports in the Sultanate, which are the outcomes of the great efforts made over the past 48 years.

He noted that The IRU World Congress will talk about the rapid changes in the logistics technologies, especially how to use technology. We should be prepared well for it and should enable youths to be creative in it. There will also be changes in the polices and legislations associated with such technologies and many debates that will focus on this field.

“The Sultanate has very strong geopolitical competitive edges not only for its geographic location outside the Strait of Hormuz and being close to the big world markets in North Africa and the Indian sub-continent but also due to the fact that the Sultanate is known for its balanced policies and promotion for peace. These policies may act as strong enablers and may play a key role in promoting business and logistic activities and attracting foreign investments, he furthered.

‘There is a joint venture in the Special Economic Zone in Duqm (SEZD) to build busses. The initial preparations for the project which will meet the local needs of such buses have already started.

IRU President, Christian Labrot delivered a speech where he said that the Congress came at a time the world is changing rapidly and facing a number of challenges in this sector. He pointed out that cooperation is the way to develop the land transport ecosystem.

He added that the selection of the Sultanate was due to the fact that the Sultanate lies in the middle of the most important international routes. The Sultanate is a midway between Asia, Africa and Europe. It also managed to develop its land transport system and make it at par with world class standards.

Representatives of more than 75 states will meet at the two days to shape the future of land transport and exchange views on the key issues related to trade and innovation in the sector on the level of the region and the world.

The first day included a session organized in cooperation with Mwasalat. The session shed light on the key challenges facing passenger transport companies and the future solutions for such challenges. The session also discussed the modern services provided by Mwasalat.

The first day discusses a number of themes the most important of which is the importance of transport in the 21st century- the road transport, mobility, trade and land transport. It included panel discussion on adopting innovation and management of the road transport, in addition to attracting talents to transport sector.

The second day includes a panel discussion under the theme ”Innovation and Competition in Road Transport Sector, in addition to panel discussions about the land transport and the challenges facing urban mobility.

During the Congress, an international agreement between ITU, Royal Oman Police and the National Transport Company “Mwasalat” was signed. As per the agreement, the Sultanate along with other 73 countries will make an effort to enhance cross border trade and take part in facilitating international access by simplifying custom procedures and international guarantee system.

The agreement was signed by Col. Khalifa Ali al- Siyabi, Director General of the Directorate of Customs at the Royal Oman Police, Ahmed al- Balushi, CEO Mwasalat Umberto de Pretto IRU Secretary- General.

Col. Khalifa bin Ali al- Siyabi, Director General of the Directorate of Customs at the Royal Oman Police said that the agreement aims at facilitate trade, especially with relation to land transport. He pointed out that the Directorate of Customs at the Royal Oman Police has selected guarantors for the suppliers and importers namely ‘Mwasalat’ after a bidding by many companies. The aims of this step is to guarantee transport of goods on safe roads.

On his part, Ahmed bin Ali al- Balushi, CEO Mwasalat said that as per this agreement certain forms will be distributed onto trucks involved in transporting goods among countries. These forms will be provided by Mwasalat. The forms will ensure that goods loaded meet the terms, therefore they will not stay for long at the border check points.

A number of entrepreneurs and SMEs presented their innovation in the field of land transport so that they can take part in shaping the future of transport and logistics sector.

Source: Oman News Agency