"new Thinking In The Face Of The Economic Downturn Required"

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24th April 2009, 10:07pm - Views: 360

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"New Thinking in the Face of the Economic Downturn Required"

PARIS and BERLIN, Apr. 24 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ -


    - Presentation of the 2009 International Transport Forum

Programme, the World's Leading Transport Sector Meeting, bringing together 52

Ministers and Top Business Leaders in Leipzig

    "Difficult times require new thinking," said the Secretary General of the

International Transport Forum (ITF) Jack Short in Berlin on Friday, "because

in the face of the current economic downturn, global transportation faces

major challenges." But at the same time, Mr. Short added, there are also

opportunities for sustainable change. Together with the German Minister of

Transport Wolfgang Tiefensee and the Turkish Minister of Transport Binali

Yildirim the Secretary General presented the programme of this year's

International Transport Forum, which will be held in Leipzig from 26-29 May

2009 under the theme "Transport for a Global Economy: Challenges &

Opportunities in the Downturn."

    Minister Tiefensee reinforced: "The globalised world in particular

requires linkage and cooperation of states. The financial crisis made this

alarmingly clear. The present economic downturn results in plummeting

shipping rates which affect the former growth and success sector transport

and logistics. The International Transport Forum provides a unique

opportunity for the transport sector to discuss concepts for positive action.

Because we do not want to be driven by the changes, but reshape them in


    As the President of the 2009 Forum the Turkish Minister of Transport

Binali Yildirim came to Berlin. "There is no doubt that transport as a

critical component of the global economy, is one of the sectors most gravely

affected by the current downturn. As the International Transport Forum, we

should take lessons from the current crisis and serve as a guide to our

sector in designing and implementing necessary measures to overcome the

current challenges. Having the Presidency of the forthcoming Forum, which

will gather all actors of the sector together with policy makers, we believe

that it is a well-timed opportunity to collaboratively draw up resolves and

commitments for fighting this crisis," stressed Mr. Yildirim. Yet, even

within the difficult context, there are also new possibilities for positive

action, Mr. Short added. "The revitalisation of international trade is

certain: the question is not if - but how and when?"

    To address the situation, policy-makers everywhere are employing

instruments to engage an economic recovery process, many of which are already

showing tentative results in national economies. "Transport can and will play

an important role in these stimulus packages," the Secretary General, the

Host as well as the President of the ITF are convinced. "At the same time,

actions to speed economic recovery should ensure a major rethinking of

transport programmes to prepare global mobility in the 21st century." More

efficient transport can create a significant boost to support economic growth

and create new confidence in the economic future. Yet, protectionist and

purely national responses risk accentuating the problem in the medium-term,

and solutions need to be found at an international level. "The 2009 Forum in

Leipzig is an opportunity to be part of this cooperative impetus for change."

    Alongside the Ministers of the Member countries the economist and writer

People Transport International Transport Forum 2 image

Jacques Attali and the Vice President of the European Commission Antonio

Tajani will deliver keynotes in Leipzig. Amongst others taking an active part

in panels and workshops will be the CEOs Peter Bakker, TNT, Tim Clark,

Emirates, Stelios Hagji-Ioannou, Easyjet, Joachim Hunold, Air Berlin, Leif

Ostling, Scania, Scott Price, DHL Europe as well as Ron Widdows, NOL.

    A unique platform for strategic thinking on the essential role played by

transport today and in the future, the International Transport Forum is a

global inter-governmental platform which presently brings together 52 Ministries.

Together with senior representatives from

government, industry and the scientific community, the 2009 Forum is an

opportunity to review some of the most pressing questions posed by volatile

global developments.

    For registration to the Forum and further information go to

    Contact: Michael Zirpel, Director of Communications, International

Transport Forum, Tel. +33(0)1-45-24-9596, Assistant: Tel +33(0)1-45-24-95-88

- Fax. +33(0)1-45-24-13-22, michael.zirpel@oecd.org

    Source: International Transport Forum


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