The Premier International Road Federation (IRF) Event for Transportation Professionals 2013 held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 9-13, 2013. It was hosted by Kingdom of Saudi Arabia under the auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Riyadh is one of the richest cities in the Middle East and the 80th richest city in the world. In addition to being the center of power of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the city is also the nation’s most important commercial hub.
Beyond Saudi Arabia, the Gulf region is home to many of the world’s fastest-growing economies, whose road networks and transportation infrastructure are benefiting from considerable investment and demand-driven expansion. This growth presented unmatched business opportunities and potential for qualified companies. Absence of Pakistan was felt in this mega event where representatives of over 90 countries from across the six continents in general and the region in particular were present.
The World Meeting’s robust technical and scientific program was supplemented by an equally dynamic business and social program featuring a commercial exhibition, technical site visits, a social and networking program, and a spouse program.
The 17th IRF World Meeting featured an exhibition showcasing the best of technology, equipment and services in the industry world-wide. This area also featured the Innovation Forum – an open-air auditorium suitable for commercial live & recorded company, service, & product presentations. Over 200 exhibitors participated, including a number of national pavilions.
Delegates and exhibition attendees had opportunity to visit the most important transport-related construction and operation projects in Riyadh and its environs. Visits to the traffic police control room, red light camera system, suspended bridge and the beautiful up coming Financial District were of great value for the participants.
Road Safety – Pakistan Examples
Mr. Asif J Khawaja has been working with Road Safety since over a decade starting with Pakistan Motorway Police (now National Highways and Motorway Police) in 1997, then Association of Road Users of Pakistan (ARUP) from 1999, onwards to Traffic Warden System and Rescue 1122.
Khawaja was invited at this conference to read a paper on “Road Safety – Pakistan Examples”. He presented details about MotorwayTrainingCollege, EmergencyServicesAcademy, Traffic Warden System and beautiful Tourism opportunities of Pakistan & Punjab. Recent initiatives of TDCP for healthy tourism activities ensuring safety of participants were also presented.
During the conference he was invited by Executive Vice President of IRF to become a member of the organization and also participate in the next training program of “Safer Roads by Design – Across Six Continents” scheduled from February 15-25, 2014. This training will cover Roadside/ Median Safety, Work Zone Safety, Vulnerable User Safety, Road Safety Audit and Traffic Engineering. EVP of IRF believed that the knowledge learned by the attendees will be of great help in making the roads safer in Pakistan.
The International Road Federation (IRF)
The International Road Federation (IRF), founded in 1948, is a not-for- profit, non-political, organization with the mission to encourage and promote development and maintenance of better, safer and more sustainable roads and road networks. Working together with its members, partners, and multilateral organizations, the IRF promotes the social and economic benefits that flow from well-planned and environmentally-sound road transport networks; in short, the IRF helps develop technological solutions and management practices that provide maximum economic and social returns from national road investments.
Since 1952, IRF World Meetings have set new standards of excellence for the road industry and served as platforms connecting industry leaders and experts from across the globe. IRF World Meetings provide the private sector with unmatched opportunities to display their technologies, equipment and services to a global audience.
IRF’S ROLE IN THE GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT OF ROADS AND ROAD POLICIES
- For governments and financial institutions, the IRF provides a wide base of expertise for planning road development strategy and policy.
- For the community of road professionals, the IRF is a source of support and information for national road associations, advocacy groups, Companies and institutions dedicated to the development of road Infrastructure.
- BEST PRACTICES & BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
With a membership network in over ninety countries of six continents, the IRF believes that it can make a difference by providing best practices and expert advice to today’s multi-faceted world of transport.
For its members, the IRF is a business network, a link to external institutions and agencies, such as the United Nations and the European Union, and a business card of introduction to government officials and decision-makers worldwide.
-Published on pages#20 & 21, December-2013 edition of MOBILE WORLD Magazine