The League of Arab States has confirmed that the Arab region is a crossing point for international trade convoys during the various stages of history, by virtue of its geographical location mediating between the East and West of the world. However, the developments taking place in the region have led to a change in the scene of transport management in the world.
This came in a speech by the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, delivered by the Director of the Economic Integration Department and Supervisor of the Transport and Tourism Department of the League of Arab States, Dr. Bahjat Abu Al-Nasr, during a workshop on “Establishing an Arab mechanism and database to support the field of shipbuilding and ship repair industry in the Arab countries,” which Organized by the General Secretariat on Monday.
Abu Al-Nasr said that holding this workshop in the building of the League of Arab States was not a coincidence, but rather an expression of the interest that the League and its specialized organizations give to the issue of maritime transport and then to the shipbuilding industry in the Arab countries.
He pointed out that this workshop is being held under exceptional circumstances that the world is going through, which cast a shadow on the Arab region. The global economy has witnessed a number of successive challenges, since the mortgage crisis, then the repercussions of the spread of the Corona virus, then the Russian-Ukrainian war, and the fueling of the energy and food crises, and above. All of this exposed our brothers in Gaza to a war of extermination by the Israeli occupation.
In this regard, he expressed his sincere condolences to our brothers in Palestine, stressing the League’s firm position, which is to condemn everything that the brotherly Palestinian people have been subjected to and the aggression and violations of their rights they are currently exposed to, and to stress the necessity of stopping the aggression against the Gaza Strip, and immediately allowing the entry Humanitarian aid, food and fuel to it, and an emphasis on supporting the steadfastness of the Palestinian people on their land and warning against any attempts to displace them outside it.
He continued, “All of these crises have negatively affected the performance of the global economy, and economists expect the slowdown in global growth to turn into a recession, with the world experiencing what is known as (stagflation), which will reflect negatively on the performance of the global economy.”
He stated that the geographical dimension is no longer the most important factor in maritime transport options, as digital transformation and modern technologies are setting new standards for that industry, which is consistent with the topic of the workshop title, “The Shipbuilding and Repair Industry in the Arab Countries,” and also reflects the awareness of the Council of Arab Ministers of Transport of the importance of this. Moving towards improving shipbuilding and industry in Arab countries.
He highlighted that many Arab summits have emphasized the necessity of strengthening the connectivity of Arab countries by land, sea and air to activate Arab economic integration and to integrate Arab countries into their regional and international surroundings. Developing and improving the shipbuilding industry in the Arab region is the best way to achieve this goal, as maritime transport is the backbone. To stimulate the economy of countries, it contributes about 80 percent of the volume of global trade.
He said that it became clear that developing existing entities in the field of maritime transport and logistics has become an urgent economic necessity, especially in light of the challenges imposed by rapid international economic developments. Developing this industry would have a positive and direct impact on many economic sectors in countries, as it has The ability to increase the country’s competitiveness and increase its ability to enhance foreign trade, attract more foreign direct investments, and create new job opportunities, in addition to rationalizing the use of resources, which is consistent with the Millennium Goals for Sustainable Development.
He concluded that the shipbuilding industry in the Arab countries is one of the industries with a long history. The geographical location of the Arab countries gives them a competitive advantage in this industry, and therefore it is necessary to take advantage of this distinguished location while taking into account the requirements of the technical development brought about by the technological revolution in this industry.
Abu Al-Nasr continued that the Arab countries must develop national strategies to advance that industry, as well as advance the industries that feed that industry, develop related legislation and laws, and establish national bodies to manage that industry. The banking system bears its national responsibility in supporting that industry, which is characterized by its high financial costs, and developing the infrastructure. Solid infrastructure as well as technological infrastructure, and finally coordination with universities to graduate the scientific and engineering cadres necessary for this industry.
He stressed that at the Arab level, regional integration has become a major requirement for achieving cooperation and coordination between shipbuilding arsenals in Arab countries, and working to exchange experiences to benefit from successful experiences, and even striving towards specialization in producing the components of that industry according to the competitive and relative advantage of each Arab country, which may constitute a nucleus. For regional integration of this industry, perhaps joining the Arab Ship Classification Organization agreement, which was approved by the Council of Arab Ministers, has become one of the requirements of this approach.
He called for mobilizing and consolidating efforts to achieve common visions and emphasizing the necessity of cooperation to ensure the optimal use of resources, as well as avoiding duplication of work, in a way that serves the economies of Arab countries in a way that has a clear impact on the Arab citizen.