FIATA 2019 WORLD CONGRESS and SOUTH AFRICA
Kosta Sandalcı – FIATA Honorary Member




About a month later, a big part of global logistics industry is going to meet again for the FIATA World Congress. The congress, organised in a different country each year, will be held this year in Cape Town, South Africa. As far as I was informed, I can now say that this year the number of participants from Turkey will be as high as it has been in the last years.
FIATA World Congress will be held for the second time in South Africa, just like it has happened for Istanbul as well. You will remember that UTİKAD organized a very successful FIATA World Congress in 2002 in İstanbul. UTİKAD was nominated for a second time again in 2014. That Congress as well was as successful as the 2002 Congress. The first FIATA Congress in South Africa was organized in 2004 at Sun City which is not far from Johannesburg. I have some unforgettable memories of this convention, both good and bad ones. The bad memory is the fact that I lost my mother two days after I came back from the congress. The good memory is that following my return from the congress I was elected as the Chairman of FIATA Working Group Road, which I was going to carry out for a total of 12 years. Therefore, South Africa certainly has a unique place in my memories.
In the past, FIATA congresses had little or no participation from our country. If I remember correctly, there was almost no participation during the Congress in 2004 from Turkey other than me. Over the years with UTİKAD's initiatives, participation from Turkey has increased significantly. My guess is that the number of participants from Turkey this year will exceed more than 15 participants.
The agenda of this year's congress was prepared very bravely. I anticipate that it will be very interesting and participation in the sessions will be very high. I do not want to go into the details of the congress agenda here, but those who wish to obtain more information about the program and the speakers can check FIATA’s relevant website.
Africa is becoming increasingly important for our country in commercial terms. Turkey's trade with several African countries in recent years has increased dramatically. We know that our country's investments in many African countries such as Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, Niger and Angola have contributed significantly to both the African economy and our country's economy.
The situation is not very different for FIATA either. In fact, the number of different African companies, that became members of FIATA, is remarkable also for each congress, as quite a lot attendants are participating to each congress.. I can say that the number of participants in FIATA World Congresses particularly from Nigeria, Ghana and Egypt is far more than the participants from Turkey. The higher the participation from various countries in the congresses is, the more intense the reinforcement of business relations and the establishment of new collaborations among logistics service providers is possible.
 
Finally, I’ve to mention also the success of Turkish Airlines in Africa. Our national airline flies directly from Istanbul to the most important cities in Africa. For example, when  I had to go for the FIATA World Congress held in Sun City, South Africa in 2004, I used Olympic Airlines via Athens since there was no direct flight from Istanbul to Johannesburg. This year, I will fly with Turkish Airlines of course – all the way to Cape Town - directly from Istanbul. Turkish Airlines' passenger potential continues to increase rapidly with transit passengers. Also, for us providing logistics services in air freight, our national airline is to be considered like God’s gift.
 
I will also share my impressions of the Congress when I return.
 




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