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Saudi Arabia scores highest regional progress in Maritime Connectivity Index
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 17 - 10 - 2021

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report for the 3rd quarter of 2021 showed Saudi Arabia's progress in the Maritime Connectivity Index, as it achieved 70.68 points, scoring the highest regional progress in this field, a reflection of the Kingdom's efforts to raise its competitiveness and enhance its international presence in the maritime transport sector in the region.
This achievement comes despite the challenges the world has been facing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which led to an increase in shipping costs.
This progress is also directly attributed to the partnerships secured by the Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI) with operators and major international shipping lines, as the efforts of other government entities including the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority, and the General Directorate of Border Guards, which contributed to the development of the Kingdom's seaports.
It also supported their competitiveness and developed infrastructure, as well as expand maritime transport lines, and improve procedures in operational and logistical services, to achieve the objectives of the national strategy for transport and logistics services, through programs and initiatives to enhance the Kingdom's leadership in the region and to contribute to transforming it into a global logistics center.
MAWANI had recently launched five shipping lines; which contributed to an increase in the number of handling of the total volume of containers by 116%, amounting to 418,462 TEUs, from the beginning of this year until the end of September 2021.
On this occasion, MAWANI President Omar Bin Talal Hariri stated that the continuous growth and the strong and stable performance of the Kingdom in the UNCTAD index since 2019, confirms its distinguished position as a country with a growing connection with the world and the global economy.
He added that through the continuous development of infrastructure and the enhancement of operational capabilities, the Saudi ports were able to develop maritime communication paths and significantly improve the competitiveness of the Kingdom.
"We are proud of the authority's contribution to these achievements, and efforts will be intensified to reach more successes to meet the aspirations of the Kingdom's ambitious leadership, with the follow-up of the Minister of Transport and Logistics and Chairman of the Board of the Saudi Ports Authority Eng. Saleh Bin Nasser Al-Jasser, within the national strategy for transport and logistics, to achieve the Kingdom's vision 2030," Hariri said.
He underlined that work is extensively ongoing to enable the regulatory and commercial environment of the ports sector, constantly raising its efficiency and reliability, as well as promoting successful partnerships between the public and private sectors and encouraging a culture of innovation, based on the Kingdom's strategic location.
It is strategic because it is at the center of three continents, an is part of the Authority's endeavors to contribute to the development of a sustainable and prosperous maritime sector to consolidate the Kingdom's position as a global logistics center and enable its economic and development ambitions.
The global index, which measures the level of interdependence of the world's ports with shipping line networks quarterly, aims to help countries identify challenges and find opportunities to develop and improve their performance in the field of logistics services.
The Maritime Connectivity Index with Global Shipping Lines includes several sub-indicators; most notably: the number of scheduled visits by ships to the country within a week, the capacity of the ships in standard units, in addition to the number of regular service paths provided by shipping lines to and from the country. — SPA

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