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Cuba, trade facilitation, marine pollution and LNG top agenda for CSA conference

Published:Tuesday | October 13, 2015 | 10:00 AM
The official opening ceremony of the CSA’s 44th Annual General Meeting held last year in Punta Cana.
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Cuba, trade facilitation, marine pollution and LNG top agenda for CSA conference

Hundreds of delegates representing maritime interests from the Caribbean, Latin America, North America, and Europe will arrive in Cartagena, Colombia, this coming weekend for the region's premier annual shipping industry conference being held by the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA).

With a packed agenda featuring world-renowned maritime and logistics experts, the association's 45th Annual General Meeting, Conference and Exhibition, which will run from October 19 to 21, is expected to deliver the latest information on critical topics impacting the Caribbean's shipping industry at this time.

The Port of Cartagena (Sociedad Portuaria Regional de la Cartagena - SPRC) heads the list of regional sponsors of the conference and will play the role of host to the delegates. Since it was founded in 1533, the city of Cartagena de Indias has been an important regional commercial shipping port. With the announcement of a multimillion-dollar planned upgrade and a reputation for excellent performance across the region, there is considerable enthusiasm from industry professionals across the world about attending a conference hosted by the port.

longevity

The business of the organisation will be the focus of attention on day one of the conference, where a major highlight will be the election of the CSA's new president and vice-president for 2015-2016. The association will say farewell to President Grantley Stephenson (CEO of Kingston Wharves Ltd), who has given yeoman service to the organisation during his three-year tenure at the helm of the CSA and will undoubtedly continue to offer guidance and support to the organisation.

As he demits office, the president has urged that delegates use the 45th AGM to devise sustainable plans to guarantee the longevity of the regional maritime industry. He also asked that members use the opportunity for reflection.

"We pause to reflect on the weight of our positive influence on the nations and people that we serve by virtue of the goods that we transport and the services we safely and efficiently provide. We represent an industry that employs millions and provides significant economic and logistics support to the millions more that rely on global trade and maritime transport. Never has that role been more influential in the development of the world economy than it is today," said Stephenson.

managing body

Another highlight of day one of the AGM will be the installation of a new General Council. The CSA's General Council, which is the managing body, comprises mainly the representatives of the four constituent groups of the association.

Delegates have a chance to hear the most up-to-date information on developments in logistics, cruise shipping, liquid natural gas fuel options, port privatisation, Cuban port development, technology, marine oil pollution, and customs. The line-up of industry experts slated to present at the conference include Hector Landeros, regional development manager of the World Customs Organisation (Americas and Caribbean, and Cuban government official Pedro Suarez Reyes, who is also president of the Special Committee on Transport for the Association of Caribbean States. Reyes will share information on the state of the Cuban maritime sector and what the pending end to the United States embargo will mean for the Spanish-speaking Caribbean territory. John Hatley, Americas vice-president of Ship Power at Wartsila North America Inc, and Colin Young, the International Maritime Organisation's regional maritime adviser for the Caribbean, will also join the esteemed panel of presenters at the conference.

Time has been set aside throughout the three-day event for networking activities, thus allowing participants to meet to discuss business matters and to initiate contact with potential partners on the expo floor, where manufacturers and service providers will be on display. The participants, comprising CSA members, industry suppliers and service providers, along with observers, are expected from more than 20 countries in the Americas and Europe.

Gala Banquet and Awards

The 45th Annual General Meeting, Conference and Exhibition will end with the CSA's annual Gala Banquet and Awards. This stellar event will be highlighted by the announcement of the winners of the annual Caribbean Port Awards.

The CSA, the voice of the Caribbean shipping industry, was established in 1971 to facilitate development of an efficient, viable Caribbean shipping industry. Conferences hosted by the CSA provide a forum in which matters relevant to the growth and development of Caribbean shipping are discussed.

Delegates can still register at: https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1721180