City Unity College and HAMA at the 3rd EU-Arab World Summit 2018

Strengthening both regional and transregional cooperation and promoting existing initiatives were the focus of the 3rd EU Arab World Summit which was held at the Athens Concert Hall on October 29 – 30 under the auspices of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, under the patronage of the European Parliament, in cooperation with The Arab LeagueThe Union of Arab ChambersThe Athens Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and with the support of the European Commission and The Arab – Hellenic Chamber of Commerce & Development.

Under the title of “Shared Horizons”, the Summit served as a platform for high-ranking state officials from EU and Arab states as well as European Commission representatives to discuss challenges faced mutually by the EU and the Arab world and relevant shared policies in the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East, with environmental, energy and transportation issues being of particular interest.

In his opening address, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras underlined the critical role that Greece can play in boosting dialogue between EU and Arab states, adding that Greece was upgrading its geopolitical role, describing the country as a “pillar of peace and stability at the crossroads of three continents.”

Said crossroads was the metaphoric context of a workshop presented by the Arab Academy for Science Technology & Maritime Transport (AASTMT) on “The Role of Transportation in Promoting Growth in Trade & Investment between EU and Arab Countries”, chaired by Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghafar Ismail Farag, President of AASTMT. 

The chairperson and workshop panelists, namely Dr. Gehan Saleh, Prime Minister Economic Affairs Advisor, Cabinet of Minister, Egypt;  Dr. Mohamed Aboeldahab, PMO Director, General Authority for Suez Canal Economic Zone; Dr. Ayman Ghonim, Head of Public Relations and Protocol, AASTMT;  Dr. Ahmed Youssef, Director of International Forum for Maritime Transport, AASTMT; Mr. Apostolos Zampelas, Senior Consultant, Global Shipping Expert, The Boston Consulting Group; and Mr. George Tsavliris, Principal, Tsavliris Salvage Group, discussed the impact of the EU Arab partnership and collaboration in transportation both in overriding terms of economic development, trade and investment, and in more specific terms such as the potential of linking and integrating road and railway networks. They also identified key projects of integration in transportation and for promoting PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) in transportation projects, deliberating on strengthening shipping lines, purposefully integrating ports between EU and Arab countries, and creating shipping hubs to be shared by EU and Arab countries, therewith attracting increased investment in ports and logistics.

Another of the summit’s forward-looking activities was the workshop “Building Bridges in Education”, chaired by Dr. Christian Werner, President of IUN World, and comprising panelists from the world of education and education-oriented businesses and institutions, namely City Unity College’s Dean, Professor Gregory Root; Mr. Issam El Absi, Director of CCC BIM Academy; Dr. Kostas Axarloglou, Dean of Alba Graduate Business School; Mr. Harry Daskalakis, Executive Director of BCA College; Dr. Nikolaos Kastrinakis, General Director of I.V.E.T SVIE; and Dr. Theofanis Giotis, CEO of 12PM Project Management Services. Subsequent to providing overviews of the institutions they were representing at the workshop, the panelists focused on the discussion of the workshop’s specific topic “Recreating Greece as an International Educational Hub”, interacting dynamically both among themselves and with the audience. The workshop came to a promising conclusion as the chairperson and panelists signed the “Athens Declaration – Manifesto to Transform Greece into a Global Educational Destination”, in the understanding that the workshop’s conclusions would be further actively pursued, under consideration of the conclusions drawn and recommendations proposed by the OECD in its publication of April 19, 2018, “Education for a Bright Future in Greece.”

In this altogether substantially optimistic and transculturally openminded atmosphere, City Unity College added an impressive and exciting touch by way of its booth highlighting one of its most dynamically growing departments, namely the HAMA Hellenic-Arab Maritime Academy, with HAMA cadets not only benefiting greatly themselves from participating in such a prominent globally-oriented Summit, but also impressing Summit delegates with their evident enthusiasm and professionalism.