43-44/2014 A missed opportunity
Seoul is not exactly considered to be a top travel destination – at least not in Europe: three quarters of foreign visitors to South Korea come from Japan, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, according to official statistics. For me personally, the country and its people deserve far more attention, considering that they offer untouched nature and both old as well as postmodern culture. For the first time ever, Seoul was now recently the venue for holding the Tiaca airfreight forum, and my summary of three eventful days is: the attendees certainly missed something! Apart from local industry representatives and other Asians, at least some US exhibitors and visitors of «Hallyu», the so-called Korean wave, were swept in and followed the call across the Pacific.
In addition to valuable contacts, the biannual event this time round again provided the world airfreight association with a stage to present its numerous activities (see report on page 15). Above all, the focus was on reviving the two committees which oversee the subject areas of education and industry matters. For instance, the sub-committees of the latter were filled with experienced sector specialists who should reflect the range of members of Tiaca which is broad both in terms of geography and as regards their orientation.
The association is clearly attempting to open up new opportunities for the crisis-riddled transport carrier and trying to transcend traditional boundaries. This was exemplified by the attendance and active involvement of the Iata freight head Glyn Hughes as well as the secretary-generals of Icao, Raymond Benjamin, and of the World Customs Organisation, Kunio Mikuriya. Together with these partners and the supervisory authorities, reliable data systems are to be developed, which send dispatch information already before the departure and make airfreight even safer. Environmental and e-commerce questions were further key subjects of the activities, which are also being discussed within Gacag. Responsibility for them was passed on from Tiaca to Iata in accordance with the schedule.
The 52nd world congress organised in the following week in Istanbul by the freight forwarders association, Iata, was welcomed with a lot more enthusiasm. We also attended this fair, and will report about it in the coming issues.