ABU DHABI,� A large number of executives and industry professionals from local, regional and global markets took part in the second edition of Maritime Standard Ship Finance and Trade Conference held here this week.

Hosted by Abu Dhabi Ports, the event aimed to chart a future course for shipping and maritime sectors that would boost the industry segment.

Dr. Abdullah Salem Al Katheeri, Director-General, Federal Transport Authority - Land and Maritime, delivered the keynote address. Sheikh Talal Al Khaled Al Sabah, Chairman of Kuwait Oil Tanker Company, was also present at the conference.

"Our participation and hosting of the Maritime Standard Ship Finance and Trade Conference in Abu Dhabi for the second consecutive year is testament to our commitment to finding solutions for sustained growth and development. We are confident this event has served as a platform that connects key players and decision makers, and creates rewarding opportunities," said Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports.

"The Conference took place at an interesting moment in time, when there is considerable uncertainty in the market about both economic and political trends worldwide. The old order is changing and that made this event so relevant. It was a perfect chance to begin discussions about how the shipping and finance sectors respond to these trends," noted Clive Woodbridge, Chairman of the Conference and Editor of The Maritime Standard.

"This was a really unique event that brought together some of the most original thinkers and strategists from across the maritime sector under one roof. We successfully built on the success of the inaugural conference last year and I am sure everyone who attended went back to their day jobs with fresh ideas and enthusiasm to tackle the challenges that lie before them," said Trevor Pereira, Managing Director of The Maritime Standard.

The first session covered the changing global economic environment, assessing the main challenges and opportunities lying ahead. Several leading personalities, including Ali Shehab, Deputy chief executive of Kuwait Oil Tanker Company; Khamis Juma Buamim, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive of Gulf Navigation; Eng. Yasser Zaghloul, Chief Executive of National Marine Dredging Company; Eng. Rashed Al Hebsi, Chief Executive of Emirates Classification, TASNEEF, and Andrew Baird of Watson, Farley and Williams spoke during the opening session.

Next came an 'Up Close' session with well-known banker and financier Sanjay Mehta of S One Capital, who has over 25 years of experience in fund management, investment banking and structuring mergers and acquisitions. Mehta gave some intriguing insights into how shipping and trade would evolve over the coming years, including an optimistic assessment of the product tanker market.

The afternoon sessions focussed on wide-ranging discussions on strategy development and the right financial tools to meet the needs of challenging market conditions. Additionally, there were excellent presentations from eminent speakers from the fields of ports, shipping, ship management, law, banking and finance. There was also a general consensus that the banking and finance sectors need to work closely to boost the maritime sector.

Source: Emirates News Agency