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Sustainable Maritime Industry Conference - SMIC takes place in Jeddah

The Sustainable Maritime Industry Conference (SMIC23), held in Jeddah from 4th to 6th September 2023, marked a significant milestone in Saudi Arabia's commitment to sustainable maritime practices. The conference witnessed the signing of several crucial Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements, highlighting the Kingdom's determination to align its maritime industry with Vision 2030. This took place Under the patronage of H.E Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Minister of Transport and Logistics Services and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Transport General Authority.

The conference's theme was ‘Innovation for a Greener Future’ and addressed the considerable issues of pollution that is created by the maritime industry. The conference explored new and innovative ways of reducing the environmental impact of the industry while still maintaining its economic viability. It also featured several panels and discussions that explored key issues such as the role of women in maritime, the role of the Saudi Green initiative and Middle East initiative, and examining the future of autonomous ships and shipping.

There were over 50 speakers with 10+ keynote speakers, 15+ sponsors, and over 2000 participants. Notable attendees include the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Kitak Lam, various local and international ministers, ambassadors, representatives, and maritime experts. There were also key note speakers such as Hayat Al Yabis Alternate Permanent Representative for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the International Maritime Organization and His Excellency Dr. Rumaih AL-Rumaih, the President of Transport General Authority.

The Kingdom signed a number of key projects at the conference such as the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) GloFouling, GloLitter, and GloNoise programs, aimed at combating vessel biofouling, marine litter, and noise pollution. The Kingdom, also announced support for the IMO International Maritime Law Institute IMILI, as part of its efforts to enhance common ground for understanding maritime law and developing a sustainable maritime industry. Another partnership was signed between the Transport General Authority TGA and Bahri Company with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to support the Next Wave Seafarers (NWS) project to raise the efficiency of seafarers globally by supporting the provision of practical training for maritime students from island countries and less developed countries on board the ships of the Saudi fleet.

The conference provided the opportunity for essential communication and development towards building the sustainable future of tomorrow. It reemphasised the Kingdoms commitment to collaboration and sustainability within the IMO and beyond.

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