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ESPO conference at Gothenburg

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Gothenburg 28022014Five good reasons to attend ESPO’s Annual Conference in Gothenburg, 15-16 May 2014

On 15 and 16 May, ESPO is holding its Annual Conference in Gothenburg. For those who never found their way to an ESPO Conference or for those who are still making up their minds, we will help you in your decision.

Here are five good reasons to attend  ESPO 2014 Conference:

clarion1° The theme: this year’s Conference theme is “level playing field”. The conference aims at giving some more substance to this concept by looking how ports compete at different levels, which factors determine competition, which factors can undermine fair competition. The conference also wants to assess how the competitiveness of a port can be challenged by different elements on which ports have no leverage and to investigate on the contrary how they can play a role in keeping industry in Europe. In a final debate both ports and European policy makers will discuss the role of policy in enhancing the level playing field and will hopefully answer the basic question of this conference: a level playing field between ports: a must or a myth?

2° The speakers: ESPO conferences traditionally feature very high quality speakers, and this year is no exception. In addition, ESPO has also been looking for speakers off the beaten track. Confirmed speakers already include: Costantino Baldissara, Commercial & Logistics Director, Grimaldi Group and President of the Association of European Vehicle Logistics – Steven Bouckaert, Senior Manager Maritime Transport and Business – Per Bondemark, Chairman of the Swedish Shippers’ Council – Marc Desmons, Engineering Services Manager, TIL – Knut Fleckenstein, Member of the European Parliament and Rapporteur for the Ports Policy Regulation – Knut Hansen, Senior Vice President, Stora Enso Logistics – Anneli Maria Hulthén, Chairman of the Gothenburg Municipality Executive Board – Magnus Karestedt, CEO, Port of Gothenburg – Yves Leterme, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD and Belgian Prime Minister in 2008-2011 – Joachim Luecking, European Commission – DG Competition, Head of Unit, State Aids: industrial restructuring – Prof Dr Theo Notteboom, President and Professor ITMMA, University of Antwerp and President International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME) – Olivier Onidi, European Commission, DG MOVE, Director European Mobility Network – Tim Power, Director, Head of Maritime Advisors, Drewry – Adriaan Schout, Head of the European Studies Programme, Clingendael – Luc T’Joen, Principal Auditor, European Court of Auditors, Transport and Energy – Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, Greek Minister of Shipping, Maritime Affairs and the Aegean and President of the Transport Council of the European Union – Thomas Verheye, European Commission, DG Environment, Head of Unit Air & Industrial Emissions. Other speakers will be added during the coming days.

3° The debate: during this year’s conference, ports will go in direct debate with the shippers, the shipping lines and the policy makers. The following port representatives are ready for the debate: Eddy Bruyninckx, CEO, Port of Antwerp – Giuliano Gallanti, President, Port Authority of Livorno – Julian Skelnik, Marketing Director, Port of Gdansk – Rune Arnoy, CEO, Narvik Havn KFk – Joachim Coens, President-CEO, Port of Zeebrugge – Santiago Garcia-Mila, Deputy General Manager Strategy and Business, Port Authority of Barcelona and Chairman, ESPO – Victor Schoenmakers, Director European & International Affairs, Port of Rotterdam Authority – Stavros Hatzakos, General Manager, Piraeus Port Authority – Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port. Others will follow.

4° The roundtables: this year, every participant will have the floor. This year’s ESPO conference aims at the active involvement of every delegate. Participants in the conference should not only go home with new views from the conference speakers, but should also be able to take with them some good business contacts, some concrete answers to concrete questions, hands on information that will allow them to further develop their port, their business, their activity. For this reason, on the afternoon of the first day, participants will gather around one of the ten discussion tables, with each of them tackling a different issue of information and/or discussion.

5° The Venue: Last but not least, there is our host, the Port of Gothenburg, the largest Port in Scandinavia. It is clear that Gothenburg is living up to its reputation as a “no-limits” port. CEO Magnus Kärestedt and his wonderful team are doing everything to make this conference an unforgettable event!

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