Oman becomes member of International Transport Forum

Oman Thursday 23/May/2024 14:16 PM
By: Ashok Purohit
Oman becomes member of International Transport Forum

LEIPZIG: The Sultanate of Oman has been included as a member of the global organisation, International Transport Forum (ITF), on Thursday.

Oman, along with Saudi Arabia, and Dominican Republic were welcomed into the ITF family with the organisation now growing to 69 members.

Times of Oman had first reported on Wednesday that Oman along with other two nations will be made members of the international acclaimed body.

The three nations were included after the ITF’s highest statutory body, the Council of Ministers of Transport voted to admit all three countries at a meeting in Leipzig, Germany on Thursday.

The ITF is the only intergovernmental organisation with a global mandate for all transport modes. The Forum is administratively integrated into the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and acts as a think tank for transport policy and organises global summit of ministers of transport every year.

Hamood Musabah Al Alawi, a senior representative of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, said: “I would like to thank the ITF for embracing us in their family. We look forward to collaboration with ITF and other member nations as we have witnessed some sterling examples of partnership among member nations to make remarkable progress in the transport sector.”

“Oman looks ahead to enhance its connectivity in all modes of transport and is committed to improve the infrastructure. We are keen to attract investments in the sector as we move towards modernising infrastructure with the help of new technology and also push towards green mobility. Public transport system and logistics are also areas where we would like to collaborate and have partnerships with member nations,” added Al Alawi, who serves as the Metro Project Manager at the ministry.

Abdullah Al Busaidi, Director General of Oman Logistics Centre, who is also part of the Oman delegation at the ITF, said: “It is an honour. Oman is committed to be an active member of the ITF, delivering the right mandate to make the activities of ITF success. With the help of member nations and ITF, we wish to grow bigger. The inclusion of Oman in the ITF family will give us a global appeal with the family now comprising 69 members, including six from the MENA region.

“The membership will also open opportunities to enhance our knowledge and share the common practices adopted in the transport sector.”

Al Busaidi added: “We hope that our joining the ITF will help us make our transport sector more efficient. We also wish to push green mobility in Oman as we are working hard to push the agenda of green initiatives in transport sector. Oman is committed to Net Zero by 2050 and we are working with various stakeholders inside the country and across globe to achieve our goals under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik.”

With the inclusion of Oman and Saudi Arabia, the ITF members from the MENA region have grown to six and includes UAE, Morocco, Tunisia and Israel. Europe has the maximum 44 nations in the organisation.

Welcoming Oman along with Saudi Arabia and Dominican Republic as the new members, ITF secretary-general Young Tae Kim said: “The ITF welcomes Dominican Republic, Oman and Saudi Arabia with open arms as new members. We are proud to have with us a seventh nation from Latin America and the Caribbean, and our second and third members from the Gulf.”

Kim added: “Oman’s Vision 2040 depends on the provision of advanced transportation, communications and information technology infrastructure that is safe and integrated with urban and economic development.

“In particular, Oman’s Transport Ministry has initiated plans for zero-emission light and heavy-duty vehicles. ITF’s member countries look forward to assisting Oman in any way that they can. I am sure that Oman will find much inspiration in the experiences of other countries for further improving its trans sport systems.”

Welcoming Saudi Arabia, the other GCC nation into its fold, Kim said: “Saudi Arabia aims to diversify its economy away from oil, prioritising transport policies that enhance connectivity and trade through improved road, maritime, rail and air transport networks.

“Saudi Arabia’s membership provides ITF members with an opportunity to provide advice to Saudi Arabia – and learn from its specific approach to solving its transport issues. It gives me pleasure to welcome Saudi Arabia to the ITF family, and I look forward to our fruitful cooperation.”

At the press briefing on Thursday after the conclusion of Council of Ministers of Transport, it was revealed that Chile has taken over the ITF presidency for a year term from Lithuania. Czech Republic will serve as first vice-president and Azerbaijan as second vice-president.

Czech Republic will take over the presidency after Chile with the next ITF Annual Summit to be held in Leipzig from May 21-23, 2025.

More than 1,200 delegates, including journalists from around the world are attending the ongoing 2024 ITF Annual Summit, which began on Wednesday and will conclude on Friday.

The annual summit of transport ministers is witnessing key debates and discussions on numerous transport and communications related topics with speakers and experts involved in nearly 70 sessions over the three days.

Abdullah Al Busaidi, Director General of Oman Logistics Centre