Another opening, another show. . . The
beat goes on in an emotional and uplifting drumming into action, the
big event in downtown Kuala Lumpur, as FIATA World Congress officially
opened for business October 5, with all the principal speakers taking
part. Also in the picture is Krishnan Chelliah, far right. Many people
labored to make FIATA 2017 a success, but no one more than Krishnan, who
shepherded the big show from concept to reality during the past
year. Krishnan also serves as a FIATA Board Member.
Yang Berhormat Dato’
Sri Liow Tiong Lai, Minister of Transport, Malaysia was there.
So was Mr. Zhao Huxiang, President, FIATA,
(International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations ) and Alvin
Chua, President, Federation of Malaysian Freight Forwarders (FMFF), as
the biggest, most important gathering of freight forwarders began on Thursday, October 5, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at the 56th Annual
FIATA World Congress 2017.
The event continues through this weekend,
Chua Lays It On The Line
“The International Transport Forum
expects trade to represent 50 percent of global GDP, increasing to 350 percent by 2050,”
declared Mr. Chua.
Mr. Chua, in addition to serving as President,
Federation of Malaysian Freight Forwarders (FMFF), is also positioned
as President of Selangor Freight Forwarders and Logistics Association.
“Growing share of trade will take
place between emerging economies, compared with only 15 percent today,”
Mr. Chua declared. “By 2020, it is projected that freight forwarding
will be 20 percent e-commerce driven.
“So ‘Logistics Driving Global Trade’ is apropos of our gathering the largest group of freight forwarders to
meet anywhere in 2017, this week in Kuala Lumpur.”
Will Not Wait
“The oft-heard phrase ‘Time
waits For No Man’ has never been more true than it is today in this
room,” said Mr. Zhao, President of FIATA.
The energetic and persuasive CEO of Beijing-based
Sinotrans, in one of his last official duties as FIATA President, went
on to say:
“Once again in October, we get together
for this grand event of the international freight forwarding and logistics
industry, the FIATA World Congress.
“This year, we welcome more than 800
participants from over 70 countries and regions in the world gathered
here in Malaysia.
“Let me firstly thank our local host,
Federation of Malaysian Freight Forwarders, for inviting us here to the
beautiful city of Kuala Lumpur.
“For the past two years, one of FIATA’s
main objectives has been to advocate trade and transport facilitation,
to create a better business environment for the international freight
forwarders despite strong anti-globalization tendencies.
“I am glad that FIATA’s public
presence has grown even stronger within the two years.
“Whenever there are significant changes
in the socio-economic landscape for the freight forwarding and logistics
industry, FIATA’s voice can always be heard.
A new IATA-FIATA Governance Board (IFGB)
has been created as part of the groundbreaking landmark IATA-FIATA Air
Cargo Program to provide a framework of industry standards that are in
line with best practices and safety regulations.
“On August 15, Canada became the
first country to pilot the IFACP, the IATA-FIATA Air Cargo Program.
“Various meetings on sea, rail, road,
and regional issues are held by FIATA with other partner associations,”
Mr. Zhao said.
“For the future of our industry,” Mr.
Zhao continued, “my expectation is quite optimistic as firstly,
signals of solid economic recovery have arisen in many countries and regions,
especially in some major economies.
“Secondly, the WTO Trade Facilitation
Agreement came into effect and we hope it will become a key driving force
in trade facilitation.
“Many countries and regions are also
seeking development opportunities through regional economic cooperation
“Of course, our business will continue
to face changes, which mean both opportunities and challenges.
“The ever-growing e-commerce is undoubtedly
a game changer, the whole supply chain and the authorities are working
to find the right way to accommodate and regulate it,” Mr. Zhao
Sees Sunshine For Malaysia
“We are proud to welcome delegates
to the 56th FIATA World Congress co-hosted in Malaysia this year by the
Ministry of Transport and the Federation of Malaysian Freight Forwarders
(FMFF)—the national association which represents the logistics
industry in our great country,” YB Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai,
Malaysia’s Minister of Transport, told a packed meeting hall inside
the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center.
As he declared the FIATA World Congress
2017 open for business, the Minister delivered a wide-ranging keynote
“As trade becomes increasingly borderless,
trade facilitation regulations and processes too need to change.
“The value of world exports of commercial
services, valued at U.S. 4.77 trillion in 2016, recorded Asia as the strongest
performer, outpacing other regions on the import side with a growth rate
of 2.6 percent. This again reflects the continued strong performance of trade
in the region.”
Dato’ Sri Liow also called upon FIATA
members to tap on the potential of the halal market, and on e-commerce,
where Malaysia has invested in multiple projects to facilitate the fulfillment
of logistics in this growth area.
He also declared that the government’s
pro-active stance in taking steps to improve the country’s
logistics sector performance is testament to the commitment of ensuring sustainable
growth of the industry.
On The Move
“With the establishment of the National
Logistics Task Force and the implementation of the Logistics & Trade
Facilitation Master Plan in 2015, we aim to be the logistics hub for ASEAN
and the Preferred Gateway to Asia,” he said.
“Our current investment in logistics
infrastructure amounts to nearly RM15 billion in four sub-sectors—rail, road, maritime, and aviation.”
“Malaysia is currently embarking on
future massive infrastructure projects to improve our logistics capabilities
estimated to be worth more than RM100 billion,” the Minister said.