Regional integration key to maritime security say industry experts

The initiative saw 40 participants, including academics, government, industry

Regional integration key to maritime security say industry experts
DP World leads talks on mitigating piracy through economic prosperity and cross border innovation

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 7 May 2015

Global marine terminal operator DP World with knowledge partner the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA) held a third workshop on combating maritime piracy this month in Dubai, aimed at creating a strategic agenda for the 2015 UAE Counter-Piracy Conference.

The initiative saw 40 participants, including academics, government, industry and NGO representatives from Somalia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Singapore and the UAE share views on industry successes and challenges and how lessons can be learned from each country on combating maritime piracy.

While a session on sharing best practices highlighted the significant role DP World has played in containing piracy in the Horn of Africa, it also brought into focus the need for regional integration to obtain long-term solutions and address maritime security at large.

The importance of safety of routes, how piracy is closely linked to energy security and the challenge of limited resources were also discussed.

A second session on Africa's prospects for economic growth looked at key economic sectors that require investment to facilitate long term solutions.

DP World Chairman HE Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said:
"This workshop is a reflection of our commitment to bring together all stakeholders affected by piracy. It is imperative that regional coordination to counter piracy is stepped up and this is one of the main objectives of our Counter Piracy Conference series.

"We are building on what we have started through this initiative, where governments and industry leaders have acknowledged the need for joint action both on land and at sea. Political, economic, legal and military measures must go hand in hand to help mitigate the impact of piracy; and if on the ground realities are different to what the world sees, then it is our duty to bring new opportunities for the development of Africa's people."

Delegates highlighted aspects of the Somalian economy to illustrate some of the issues, as 82 per cent of Somalia's exports go to only three countries - the UAE, Oman and Yemen - with the UAE accounting for 50 per cent of the exports alone, hence the Middle East region has a significant role to play in Somalia's future growth.

Participants also believed that on the ground realities of Somalia are much more positive than what is portrayed in the media.

Although some sectors such as fishing and telecommunications are on the rise, foreign investors are keen to know how the Somali government can guarantee protection against local rival political groups. To achieve this, Somalia's national banks and government need to first help youth find employment and establish a stable national currency.

The final workshop session on developing innovative solutions to shared challenges highlighted some of Africa's developments in the technology sector, including the increasing popularity of money transfer services, new Somali national ID cards and the development of e-passports. However, it was also noted that ICT regulation is lacking due to inadequate expertise and skills.

Event discussions also highlighted the need for developmental intervention as poor social economies make up the majority of coastal communities on the continent. In Nigeria, for example, youth empowerment initiatives are on the rise to help build a new generation of tech savvy entrepreneurs who are capable of achieving substantial results.  

While the UAE Counter-Piracy Conferences held over the past four years have been successful in resolving various ongoing issues, DP World is now looking to expand and develop the scope of the upcoming conference by establishing a more interactive platform for discussions tailored around youth, entrepreneurship and the role of information technology in economic and social development.

The workshop is the finale of two panels with the first being held in April 2014, leading to a major white paper being presented at the 16th Plenary Session of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in May 2014. A second panel was held in August 2014 on 'Public-Private Partnership Opportunities, Communities' Engagement and Soft Diplomacy' with recommendations later incorporated into the moulding of the 4th UAE Public-Private Conference.


For media enquiries please contact:
Sanaa Maadad
Media Manager
DP World
Tel: +97150 5522610

Mike Vertigans
Communications Manager
DP World
Tel: +97156 6769324

About DP World:
DP World has a portfolio of more than 65 marine terminals across six continents (1), including new developments underway in India, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Container handling is the company's core business and generates more than three quarters of its revenue. In 2014, DP World handled 60 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container units).  With its committed pipeline of developments and expansions, capacity is expected to rise to more than 100 million TEU by 2020, in line with market demand.

DP World has a dedicated, experienced and professional team of over 36,000 people serving its customers around the world, and the company constantly invests in terminal infrastructure, facilities and people to provide quality services today and tomorrow, when and where customers need them.

In taking this customer-centric approach, DP World is building on the established relationships and superior level of service demonstrated at its flagship Jebel Ali facility in Dubai, which has been voted "Best Seaport in the Middle East" for 20 consecutive years.

)   As of March 2015

© Press Release 2015

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