Land Transportation Hosts Committee Meeting for GCC Railway Project

The Ministry of Transportation’s Land Transport Affairs hosted the 11th Meeting of the Financial and Technical Committee

9th June 2013

The Ministry of Transportation’s Land Transport Affairs hosted the 11th Meeting of the Financial and Technical Committee Mandated with the Development of Engineering Studies for the GCC Railway Mainline Project at the Mövenpick Bahrain Hotel. In conjunction, the Technical Working Group, mandated by the Financial and Technical Committee, will hold its second meeting on 9th-11th of June 2013 immediately preceding the 11th Meeting of the Financial and Technical Committee being held from the 12-13th of June 2013 to discuss the findings submitted by the member countries. The former meeting will aim to prepare a first draft covering the full technical specifications for operation, regulation and policies of the project. The meeting was attended by delegates from all of the GCC-Secretariat General (GCC-SG) and Member States representing senior officials from the Ministries of Transportation and Communications, Ministries of Finance and Economy, Customs and Immigrations, Ports Authorities, and King Fahd Causeway Authority as well as the World Bank providing advisory services to the GCC-SG and Member States on the development of the GCC Railway Mainline Project. The Bahrain delegation included representatives from the Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Works, Ministry of Finance, and Ministry of Interior.

During the opening speech, the Undersecretary of Land Transportation and Post Her Excellency Mrs. Mariam Ahmed Jumaan welcomed the guests and stated “Investing in joint ventures between the GCC Member States, especially the railway project, serves to be an important goal in facilitating the movement of goods and passengers between the countries and in contributing positively to their economic growth and development and further creation of jobs for the GCC Nationals.”

The meeting’s first session kicked off by recapping the main points addressed in the committee’s first meeting followed by a discussion on the comments raised by the GCC Member States and the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council responses with regards to the operational and institutional setup for the project including discussions on policies, strategies and legislations pertaining to the GCC Railway Project. The Secretariat thanked the Member States’ for their commitment to successfully implement the project according to the agreed upon work plan and schedule to complete the project and make it operational in 2018.

The Kingdom of Bahrain’s current progress, in relation to the overall project plan, and the future steps that will be taken were also discussed. These plans include the mapping of the rail’s route within Bahrain and identifying the main connecting points that will link Bahrain with Saudi Arabia and Qatar and proceeding with the feasibility study on the best way to link the countries by coordinating with all the concerned authorities in each of the countries as well as the King Fahd Causeway Authority and the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

It is worth noting that GCC railway project will serve as a complementary mode of transport between the GCC states with an overall aim to unify the region and enhance people connectivity and freight movement. Moreover, the project is expected to contribute significantly to the region’s economic growth, development, and prosperity and in diversifying the transport supply, reducing overall transportation costs, and providing an efficient, environmentally-sound and cost-effective transport alternative.

The Ministry of Transportation, in cooperation with the relevant entities in the Kingdom, is working on implementing the project’s requirements in line with the Ministry’s strategic objective that aims at enhancing the land connection between Bahrain and its neighbouring Gulf States.

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