Tuesday, July 3, 2012

African and Middle Eastern Freight Forwarders Come Together at Logistics Meeting

FIATA Annual Regional Field Meet in South Africa This Year
Shipping News Feature

AFRICA – MIDDLE EAST - The Field Meeting of The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) Region Africa and Middle East (RAME) was held in Johannesburg/South Africa on the 25th and 26th of June 2012 at the Emperors Palace Complex. FIATA now represents 40,000 logistics companies with 10 million employees globally and this year’s field meeting was attended by 70 delegates representing 15 countries with a special honour going to the current FIATA President Mr. Stanley Lim.

The annual meetings’ primary goal is to bring the regional players together to achieve networking, disseminate best practices and be able to deal with issues and challenges prevailing in the respective countries and potential ways for their resolutions using the FIATA mechanism. The rotational Regional Meeting has provided such a platform since its inception some 12 years ago.

In his opening comments to the delegates the CEO of the South African Chamber of Commerce (SACCI) Mr Neren Rau stressed the importance of the Freight Industry in South Africa and the role it plays in the provision of enlarging the distribution services of goods around the continent. Mr Rau was confident that the future of the economy of the continent looked promising but that there were needs to improve governance and trade friendly policies.

FIATA President Stanley Lim was impressed with the participation level and representation from the Middle East & Africa. Mr Lim elaborated on FIATA’s role in reaching out to the region and the vision to improve awareness and knowledge level in the global trade. This is a region that came last in the FIATA fold and it is important that all the support is provided to harness its full potential.

The Chairman Mr Issa Baluch announced that two candidates from the RAME Region (Egypt and South Africa) have participated in this year’s Young Freight Forwarder of the Year by participating in the final selection in Los Angeles in October.

After a very informative presentation made by the host country South Africa and the followed floor discussion and further regional information provided by different countries, the Chairman was happy to announce, that the selected country for the East African Project TOT (Train of Trainers) is Tanzania. A pre-qualification inspection visit has just been concluded in the month of May 2012 and the TOT schedule has been set to take place in Dar-es-Salaam in July 2012.

The chairman informed the delegates that Burundi is the new applicant for national association membership and that an admission decision will take place in Los Angeles in October once the requirements are fulfilled.

RAME delegates expressed again their intention to become more actively involved in the Advisory Bodies, Institutes and Working Groups of FIATA. The chairman confirmed that this has to be the ultimate goal of RAME to make sure that members are inducted in the various organs of FIATA.

The Chairman concluded the meeting with a vote of thanks to SAAFF for a job well done in hosting this year’s field meeting and looks forward to seeing all participants in Los Angeles in October.