Finding Ways Forward for Global Transport in the Face of the Economic Downturn

    - 52 Ministers and Top Business Leaders From Around the World to Convene
      Today at Political Highlight Event of the 2009 International Transport
      Forum in Leipzig, Germany

    - On his First Visit to Europe, New U.S. Secretary of Transportation to
      Deliver one of the Forum's Keynote Speeches

    PARIS and LEIPZIG, Germany, May 28 /CNW/ - Bringing together 52 Ministers
and top business leaders from around the world, the global transport sector
will be convening today at the main political meeting of the International
Transport Forum (ITF) in Leipzig, Germany. Today's three panels will be one of
the highlights of the Forum, presenting the most important issues of the
conference. Headlined "Transport for a Global Economy: Challenges &
Opportunities in the Downtown", the world's leading platform for the
international transport has been meeting since Tuesday, 26 May, and will
continue until Friday, 29 May.
    "This year's Forum occurs at a very difficult time," said the Secretary
General of the ITF, Jack Short, today. "Global production is down, trade is
down even more and transport is down most of all, by over 20% in many markets
and sectors. It is therefore an enormous challenge for all of us to chart some
ways forward for our sector." Mr. Short continued: "There is a unique
opportunity today to identify key actions that can be taken in the transport
sector to help improve our economies and to allocate responsibility for
pushing forward with the actions necessary. Policy makers and business leaders
have the opportunity to react and to say how they see the way forward for
transport in the 21st century. We need new thinking from the sector."
    As a supra-national and inter-governmental event, the Forum, which is
part of the OECD family, provides a unique opportunity for strategic thinking
on the essential role played by transport today and in the future. The ITF
offers the opportunity for decision-makers of both the private sector and
public bodies to devise strategies and actions on a national and international
    The ITF 2009 is hosted by Germany, represented by the country's Minister
for Transport, Mr. Wolfgang Tiefensee, and is held under the presidency of
Turkey, represented by Mr. Binali Yildirim, the Turkish Minister of Transport.
Both Ministers and the ITF Secretary General will welcome delegations today,
including the new member state India. In addition, keynote speeches for
today's highlight event will be delivered by renowned European economist and
writer Jacques Attali, the new U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood,
(also making his first appearance in Europe), as well as Antonio Tajani, the
Vice President of the European Commission.
    The Minister-Industry panels will discuss pressing questions, i.e. how
the current downturn is affecting transport and the appropriate policy
responses, the role for transport in effective stimulus packages, the risks of
a return to protectionism, measures to deal with the social consequences of
the economic downturn and the challenge of how to meet environmental goals.
    Amongst the business leaders taking part in panels and workshops are the
CEOs Peter Bakker, TNT, Tim Clark, Emirates, Stelios Hagji-Ioannou, Easy
Group, Joachim Hunold, Air Berlin, Leif Ostling, Scania, Scott Price, DHL
Europe Express, as well as Ron Widdows, Neptune Orient Lines, and the new CEO
of Deutsche Bahn, Rudiger Grube.
    For further information, including the full program and a live Webcast of
the ITF 2009, go to

For further information:

For further information: Michael ZIRPEL, Director of Communications,
International Transport Forum, Offices: 5th floor, 2-4 rue Louis David, 75016
Paris, France, Postal address: OECD/ITF, 2 rue Andre Pascal, F-75775 Paris
Cedex 16, Tel. +33-(0)1-45-24-95-96, Assistant: Tel +33(0)1-45-24-95-88, Fax.

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