IRU Secretary General, Umberto de Pretto, was in Riyadh to spearhead talks on trade facilitation, professional training and the accession and implementation of the TIR system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
Promoting closer cooperation between IRU and the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Transport and Public Transport Authority, discussions on improving and developing the road transport sector were in line with the Saudi Arabian Vision 2030 and National Transformation Program 2020 – seeking to enhance the role of the KSA as a logistics hub linking Asia, Africa and Europe.
With the spotlight on TIR, participants at the meetings unanimously acknowledged its advantages and benefits, and upheld the KSA’s accession to the TIR Convention for the secure transit of goods by road and seamless intermodal connectivity.
Umberto de Pretto met with Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Hamdan, Minister of Transport. They were joined by Rumaih Al Rumaih, President of the Public Transport Authority, Sulaiman Al Tuwajiri, Director General of Saudi Customs, and Hathlool Al-Hathlool, Under-secretary of the Ministry of Transport for Strategic Planning.
Further meetings held with key stakeholders addressed a number of additional topics, including the development of a general framework for vocational training for commercial drivers and managers to improve road safety and professionalism across the sector. It was concluded that a memorandum of understanding should be signed to establish future cooperation between IRU and the Ministry of Transport and Public Transport Authority.
Participants included Ahmed Alhakbani, Secretary General of Saudi Export Development Authority, Waleed Alorainan, Assistant Secretary General for International Affairs, Council of Saudi Chambers, and Nadir Mohammed, Country Director, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, and Said Dahdah, Senior Transport Specialist, GCC countries – the World Bank.