MedaLogistics Summit | Barcelona, reference for the logistics in the Mediterranean

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Barcelona, 28th of June, 2019. - Barcelona has been once again the place where the Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the Mediterranean (ASCAME) and the Consorci de la Zona Franca de Barcelona, with the support of the Chamber of Commerce of Barcelona, have organized the MedaLogistics Summit. This Summit, that has become a reference event in the Mediterranean logistics and transport sector, has taken place on the 26th and 27th of June in the framework of the Logistics, Transport, Intralogistics and Supply Chain leading congress in Southern Europe (SIL 2019). 

The city of Barcelona has established itself as a reference site for the logistics sector. As stated in the 'Declaration of Barcelona International Trade Summit 2019', signed by Pere Navarro, the Special State Delegate in the Consorci de la Zona Franca de Barcelona CZFB, Galo Molina, President of ALACAT, Antoni Llobet, President of the General Council of OAS Customs Agents, Anwar Zibaoui, General Coordinator of ASCAME, and Mohammed Alzarooni, President of the World Free Zones Organization WZFO: "Now, as in the past, we call to consolidate from Barcelona, the great capital of the Mediterranean, the natural advantages of Mare Nostrum within a great global logistic platform. The Mediterranean, as the sea of three continents, is decisive when it comes to East-West flows and, especially in this changing scenario, Barcelona has much to say".
The Mediterranean Summit of Logistics, Transport and Ports 2019 included the 17th edition of the Meda Logistics & Transport Forum and the 12th edition of the Meda Ports & Shipping Summit. Two meetings that are now essential for the main transport and logistics agents and has the aim to conduct an analysis of the sector’s current situation at a regional level, establish the challenges, opportunities and business niches thereof, and serve as a contact platform for representatives of organizations, international and regional associations, businessmen and future investors and partners
More than 250 people from 40 countries have attended the forums held on both days. The MedaLogistics Summit agenda contained 8 sessions and 32 high profile speakers. Among the top speakers there were several ministerial delegations from South Mediterranean countries, including Morocco and Tunisia, public officials, such as the former Minister of transport of Jordan, Jamil Mujahed, the former President of the General Authority for the economic area of the Suez Canal, Ahmed Darwish or the former General Director of the maritime authority of Denmark, Birgit Solling Olsen. Many outstanding representatives of multilateral and international agencies and the private sector were also among the speakers, for example the President of the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of the Mediterranean (AFAEMME), Maria Helena de Felipe, the Secretary General of MedPorts, Philippe Guillaumet, or the Secretary General of the international airports Council (ACI), Ali Tounsi. 
Nowadays, the Mediterranean is not only hosting the deployment of the new Silk Road (Belt & Road Initiative) by China but it is also at the core of other initiatives such as the 'Transmagrebine Multimodal Corridor': a project whose urgent implementation is advocated by ASCAME and which aims to be the continuation of the Mediterranean corridor to the south, through North Africa to the East Mediterranean. Both of them are key routes so that the Mediterranean markets can continue playing a strategic role in the future growth of the global economy and in the cooperation between Europe, Africa and China. 
In addition to highlighting the importance of the two corridors as strategic points for the economic integration of the Mediterranean region, the 2019 edition of the MedaLogistics Summit has focused on current issues that are increasingly influencing both the transport and logistics sectors, such as the progressive incorporation of women into qualified positions, the need to have a trained workforce to cover the demand for professional profiles, and the commitment to sustainability and efficiency in transport. 
"This year again the MedaLogistics Summit has stated its will to continue broadening horizons for the growth of the logistics and transport sectors, and only an efficient and sustainable logistics can guarantee the economic development of the region", said Anwar Zibaoui, General Coordinator of ASCAME at the event’s opening. "At a time when the logistics sector is booming worldwide, the Mediterranean region is a great platform with unique features to facilitate global trade", she added. A region that has more than 450 ports and terminals, represents 30% of the world's maritime trade by volume and is the first tourist destination in the world. However, these positive figures mean that transport is also responsible for the 23% of total carbon emissions. Therefore, in order to achieve a long-term sustainability, the transport and logistics sectors must commit to the European 2030 Agenda and move towards an increasingly efficient and eco-sustainable economy.
Efficiency will not guarantee the future of logistics alone. Its success cannot be proven without the incorporation of women into qualified jobs, especially in these sectors that are traditionally male-dominated.  Ana Peñuela, member of the Steering Committee of the CEL (Spanish Logistics Center), believes that "we must break down the preconception that logistic jobs are qualified jobs only for men, because in fact, most of the material handling employees are women. The challenge is to bet on qualified talents in the sector. Women will have a lot to say in the coming years and it is very important to give them visibility in the field of logistics, for example in the media".
Another fundamental pillar required to ensure the sustainability on this field is the improvement of the new labor force training that will be incorporated into the logistics sector, as well as the continuous training of workers who are already a part of it. This way the human capital could adapt to the demands of an evolving field. "Human capital is the backbone of all global logistics activity, a sector that is constantly changing. We believe that no measure will be effective unless governments are involved to put in place means that support the sector. For example, soft skills could be reinforced to give more importance to the new emerging jobs", said Kaoutar Guessous, Director of the AFFM (Association Freight Forwarders Maroc). "We know the problems that jobseekers have in our sector, and that is the reason why we are convinced that continuous training is an asset for any company, both for SMEs and large companies".
On the occasion of the MedaLogistics Summit, ASCAME signed three interregional cooperation agreements with MEDports, CETMO (Center for Transportation Studies for the Western Mediterranean) and ALACAT (Federation of National Freight Forwarders and International Logistics Operators Associations of Latin America and the Caribbean).


To discover the event's pictures, please click here.


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