FIATA elects UAE's Issa Baluch as president
BALI - The general assembly of FIATA, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations, yesterday unanimously elected Issa Baluch of the UAE as president for a two-year term from 2003 to 2005.
At its meeting, it also unanimously elected three senior vice-presidents from Singapore, Canada and Germany in addition to chairmen of FIATA's institutes and advisory boards.
The membership of five national associations of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Macedonia and Ecuador was terminated for unhealthy practices within the associations and in their countries. However, they will be readmitted after they return to good health, a FIATA official said.
The national associations of Bahrain and Myanmar joined as members of FIATA bringing the total number to 93.
Issa, who was the senior VP of FIATA from 1999 to 2003, said his priority would be to increase the number of national association and individual members in FIATA. He said that FIATA had several candidate countries which wanted to develop their national associations.
Issa told Khaleej Times after the election that as far as terrorism was concerned, FIATA was dealing with the security aspect which is affecting the transport of goods. "We place our point of view to various relevant and competent authorities. We want that security be met without impediments. Another aspect of security is the presence of different security rules in different countries," he said.
Aldo Da Ros, outgoing president of FIATA, also said that security was a major problem during his presidency.
Issa said that he would hold a series of meetings to chart the course of action during his presidency. Training will be enhanced and made available to all the countries which do not have these facilities, he added.
"There is a general realisation that the development we have made in Dubai in the context of freight logistics is noteworthy and we have a role to impart some of our global experience," he said.
He said that these experiences stretch into areas of multimodal transport and trade facilitation. "It is of great concern that security has become one of the top agenda for governments to deal with, but in our perspective, it is possible to achieve high level of security while facilitating the freedom of movement of goods without unnecessary impediments. So there is a model we can refer to," Issa said.
Issa said that FIATA was the largest NGO in the world with over 40,000 companies and individuals as its members.
"It is an honour for me to get this position and use my experience in Dubai and the Middle East to handle the problems and challenges faced by freight sector," he said. He thanked the UAE government for its support to freight forwarders.
Capt. Mansoor Y. A. Ghafoor, president of UAE's National Association of Freight and Logistics, said the election of a candidate from Dubai was a recognition of Dubai and UAE's achievements, specially in the trade sector as a regional hub.
He hoped that more shipping companies will be attracted to Dubai. "Our aim is to promote UAE globally."
Ali Al Jallaf, chief executive of Dubai Cargo Village, said that election of Issa Baluch reflected that Dubai and UAE's economic position is recognised and supported internationally. He hoped that Issa would act as a freight ambassador of the UAE. Ashok Thomas, secretary general of NAFL, said that the association will concentrate on improving the professional aspects of the freight forwarders in the UAE. Marco A. Sangaletti, director of FIATA, praised Issa's contribution in the region of Africa and the Middle East.
The 2004 World Congress of FIATA will be held in Sun City, South Africa.
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