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Saudi Arabia Wins a Seat at International Maritime Organization Council

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA, December 3, 2023 / -- Transport General Authority of Saudi Arabia proudly announces that the country has secured its membership within the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Council for a consecutive period, this time for the years 2024-2025. This commendable feat symbolizes the Kingdom’s steadfast commitment and monumental role in driving secure and eco-friendly maritime transport at a worldwide scale. It also shows Saudi Arabia’s unwavering commitment to fostering growth and innovation in maritime ecosystem globally.

The win serves as an accolade to the robust efforts put forth by the Kingdom's diligent leadership, and their continuous patronage towards maritime transportation. Moreover, the critical environmental programs spearheaded by His Highness the Crown Prince aimed at conserving and shielding marine ecosystems played an instrumental role in propelling the country to this milestone.

TGA further explained that being part of the IMO Council would enable the Kingdom to bolster its assistance to the organization's projects. It would also help to create an impactful change in the global maritime transportation sphere. This initiative is anticipated to steer the nation towards fulfilling the ambitious Saudi Vision 2030 objectives and cementing its status as a leading logistics powerhouse on the global front.

Operating as an esteemed United Nations entity, the IMO has the distinction of a vast membership spanning 175 nations. The agency plays a crucial role in devising international norms that ensure the security of maritime transportation and mitigating ship-originated pollution. The Kingdom, a part of the organization since 1969, intends to lend support to these objectives while reinforcing its ties with the agency, fostering a sustainable maritime future.

TGA emphasized on the power and proficiency of the Saudi naval fleet. Leading the ranks regionally and ranking twentieth worldwide, the fleet showcases the nation’s capability in navigating massive logistical challenges. This fleet acts as a linchpin in elevating the Kingdom’s stature as an international logistics hub, aligning seamlessly with the targets of Saudi Vision 2030.

In line with this announcement, His Royal Highness Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan has been proposed to lead the 33rd IMO Assembly meetings in London. This underscores the Kingdom’s proactive involvement in the global maritime transportation sector and its powerful sway within international organizations.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is making waves in the global maritime industry with its commitment to protecting the marine environment. In 2022, the Kingdom exported the world's first shipment of blue ammonia and signed a memorandum of understanding with the Netherlands to develop green hydrogen, while also exporting low-carbon ammonia to India. These initiatives are part of a huge green hydrogen project that underscores the Kingdom's determination to achieve a sustainable future.

Furthermore, empowering women in the maritime sector is a top priority for the Kingdom. Ms. Hayat Al-Yabis was appointed as the first female representative in January 2023, and events highlighting the role of women in the industry are regularly hosted. The Kingdom's success in achieving high standards in port performance is exemplified by King Abdullah Port and Jeddah Islamic Port. These ports are well-equipped to meet global logistical challenges and are a testament to the Kingdom's commitment to developing its maritime infrastructure.

The Kingdom is also investing heavily in developing maritime expertise, having trained over 770 trainees in the past five years. More than 1,600 Saudi seafarers are now working in the sector, bolstering the global economy and enhancing maritime security. To achieve its ambitious goals, the Kingdom has developed a comprehensive National Transport and Logistics Strategy (NTLS) that includes a range of initiatives to boost key sectors such as ports, shipping, marine services, ship building and repair, marine tourism, fishing and aquaculture. These plans highlight the Kingdom's unwavering commitment to driving innovation and sustainability in the maritime industry.

Saudi Arabia previously clinched the IMO Council membership for the period 2022-2023. The back-to-back win portrays the Kingdom's commitment to sustainable and efficient maritime services, underlining its relentless pursuit of transforming the national maritime industry's standing at a global level.

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Abdullah Alangari
The Saudi Transport General Authority