Issue 8


Interview with Manuel Rodriguez – Chairman of Cooperation & Partnership Committee of MEDPorts Association and Head of International Relations and European Polices in Valencia Port Authority

The MEDPorts Mandate for Training, Cooperation, and Future Visions in Mediterranean Ports

  • Can you provide an overview of the key objectives and focus areas of the Committee on Cooperation and Partnership within the MEDPorts Association, especially considering the organization’s significant growth in recent years? 

Since MEDPORTS was created, 2018, the training courses have been a key issue to its members. We understood from the very beginning that ports were facing new challenges related to innovation, decarbonization and unexpected critical situations. And unfortunately, COVID pandemic came to show us how challenging the new times were going to be. We understood that we the mediterranean ports located at either side of the sea would have to tackle the same problems and that this fact might give us the opportunity to share knowledge, experiences, and strategies to cope these challenges. If I had to mention the key objectives, we have gone through during these years I would have to remark the efforts we have done for sharing our different experiences with regards the topics already mentioned above.

  • Could you explain your views on the main trends on port training and cooperation in the Mediterranean and how MEDPorts is facing these challenges? 

During the last C&P committee which was held in Casablanca last December one particular refection was put on the table with the aim to set up a kind of debate about port’s future needs. This reflection arises from the idea that even considering that those topics that have caught port’s eyes during last 10-15 years will remain being crucial matters, maybe it’s time to either, go back to think on the topics that historically we had been focused on, topics like the quality of our services, the commercial activity, the role of the port authorities as engines of the port activities, or to find out what other issues will shape port authorities’ performance in the future. So, go on training our staffs on issues like energy transition, port resilience, digital transformation, but let’s start thinking too in which other topics will help us to succeed in the future.

  • With the MEDPorts Association representing a substantial portion of cargo and passenger traffic in the Mediterranean Sea, could you elaborate on some notable achievements or successful projects led by the Committee on Cooperation and Partnership? 

To me the most remarkable achievements have to do with the training courses we have been able to develop in the recent past. As you know within MEDPORTS we have four very prestigious academies which are MEDPorts’ associated members. Each of them has organized a training course coping with different matters, from the energy transition to the digital transformation, from the supply chain resilience to green port blue economy. In this sense nowadays we are setting up the new courses for the period 24-25 which will be given by our partners Escola Barcelona, Port Training Institute – AASTMT, L’ Institute Marseille and Fundacion ValeniaPort.

  • As the Chairman of the Committee, how do you envision the future trajectory of cooperation and partnership among MEDPorts members? Additionally, could you delve into the key projects that the Committee is prioritizing for the year 2024? 

I can only say that I envisage the future of the organization from an illusion and hope perspective. Our organization is growing day by day. Recently new ports from new countries have joined us making the MEDPORTS family grows. So as chairman of the C&P committee to make all the members find useful being part of the association will be one of my main ambitious. Keeping the growth of MEDPorts, strengthen the collaboration with other international associations and private companies, create a diploma in logistics jointly issued by our associated partners will be some of my personal targets as C&P responsible.