Port Wings News Network:
The FIATA World Congress 2018 (FWC-2018), which is being taking place from September 26-29 at Pulman Hotel, Aerocity, New Delhi with the theme “The Future Starts Here” has started with the presence of 1200 delegates from more than 130 countries.
The inauguration ceremony was addressed by Mr AV Vijaykumar, Chairman, Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India (FFFAI); Mr. Neeraj Bansal, Chairman, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT); Mr Robert A. Voltmann, Secretary General, FIATA; Mr Debashis Dutta, Past Chairman, FFFAI and Chairman, FWC-2018 and Mr Samir Shah, Mentor, FWC-2018. Federation of Freight Forwarders’ Associations in India (FFFAI) is hosting this first ever international logistics conference in India.
LONG WAIT OF OVER 50 YEARS
Welcoming the Delegates, Mr Vijaykumar said, “India after a long wait of over 50 years is privileged to host for the first time FIATA World Congress this year. We are proud of this combination of FFFAI and FIATA to be the partners of globally the most significant logistics event.”
He pointed out that Federation of Freight Forwarders Association of India is recognized by the Government of India as the sole representative of Exim related cargo activities and a constituent of the various consultative committees of numerous Ministries like Finance, Shipping, Aviation, Commerce, Highways. FFFAI represents 28 Associations of Custom Brokers across the country as Members with over 6000 Associate Members providing half a million direct jobs and over a million indirect jobs opportunities in the country.
According to Vijaykumar, the economic might of a nation is defined by the logistics capabilities of a country due to its vital and significant role in pre and post production activities. Success of any industry or industrial growth is measured by the capacity to have a seamless supply chain management. There have been significant changes in the method of the logistics service and the scope of activities are ever expanding.
“Global slowdowns and stunted economic progress are not deterrent to growth. On the contrary they are the cornerstones of innovation and redefining movement of revolutionary changes. It is a wakeup call for course correction, to shift gear and explore new avenues. For the past years, world has become a vortex of uncertainties and thus is a challenge. This has compelled the industry to deliberate new ideas, new approaches and to be relevant in the industry,” he added.
In his opinion, FWC-2018 in India would herald a new beginning of Indian freight forwarding and logistics industry.
Mr Voltmann emphasised on FIATA’s contribution and commitment towards global freight forwarding and logistics industry. He also commended FFFAI’s efforts to make this event a great success.
In his inaugural speech as Chief Guest Mr Bansal underscored India’s growing economic scenario and capacity building exercises from the government of India as well as private players, especially for physical infrastructure of port, airport, highways, railways, hinterland connectivity, coastal shipping, inland waterways, etc. He also highlighted the crucial policy initiatives from the government of India to facilitate ease of doing business and international trade in consultation with industry players.
Mr Dutta conveyed his gratitude for the remarkable support FFFAI received from the government, its various departments and industry stakeholders. “We are excited to announce that FWC-2018 registered close to 1200 delegates from across the world, which is indicating a remarkable sign considering the growth of future logistics industry in India. The theme of FWC 2018 “The Future Starts Here” was very apt if the responses FFFAI received is taken into account,” added Mr Dutta.
During the FWC-2018 there would be about 20 Business Sessions, which are being attended by some 70 eminent speakers from international logistics industry, apart from representatives from Government of India, WCO, renowned personalities, etc. In addition there are about 1000 scheduled B2B meetings to be participated by more than 500 delegates.
Commenting on the impact of this mega show which is full with business interactions and amusement programmes, Mr Shah maintained that it would not only boost up traditional companies, it also inspire start-ups and young entrepreneurs, who account more than 30 per cent at this event.
At this event FFFAI also organised an exhibition participated by about 60 exhibitors from logistics industry.
The inauguration ceremony was followed by Main Forum Session. Moderated by Mr Samir Shah, the Keynote speaker of this session was Mr S Ramesh, Chairman, CBIC. Also spoke at this session were Mr Ross Thompson, CCSO, Abhdhabi Ports; Turhan Ozen, Chief Cargo Officer, Turkish Airlines; Dr Nancy Nix, ED Emeritus, AWESOME and Luc Anthonie De Blieck, Deputy Director, Trade Facilitation, WCO.
In addition, there were Regional Sessions to discuss issues and opportunities in Americas, Asia Pacific, Africa & Middle East, Europe and India.