Daily Archives: October 24, 2019

Registration opens for first Fastmarkets RISI MENA Conference in Beirut 

Packaging, tissue, waste paper and European influences to be at forefront of program

BOSTON, Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Fastmarkets RISI, the definitive source of commodity data and insights for the forest products industry, has opened registration for the First Annual MENA Conference. The Conference will be held December 3-4th, 2019 in Beirut, Lebanon at the Four Seasons as an opportunity for domestic and global professionals to network and discuss the evolving Middle East and North African (MENA) forest product market.

Packaging, paper, tissue and hygiene products will be at the forefront of panel discussions as well as Fastmarkets forecasts. Economists and regional leaders from companies like Indevco, MEPCO, and Klabin will address the latest trends affecting the MENA region, including:

  • Raw materials: Global fiber and recovered paper
  • GCC Anti-dumping duties
  • Global containerboard trends
  • The influence of Europe on the supply/demand in the MENA region
  • Increased tissue demand
  • Transport and logistics: Cost, speed and investments
  • RCP in Turkey and the Middle East

Day one of the conference will open with a presentation from Neemat Frem, CEO of Indevco, discussing market potential in the Middle East. Mr. Frem will later join a senior executive panel including WARAQ, Solicar, and MEPCO to address the current capacity of the containerboard market and packaging demand as well excess waste paper imports and sustainability efforts.

Investment opportunities will further be explored by Alexei Postnikov of APPM and Mary Lystad of IFC to discuss the market’s future growth potential.

Fastmarkets is also pleased to announce Indevco as the host sponsor of this event. Indevco is a leading paper container and flexible packaging producer based in Lebanon, operating in 65 countries across the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America.

For more information about the MENA Conference, click here.

About Fastmarkets RISI

Fastmarkets is the leading price reporting, analytics and events organization for global commodities markets, including the forest products sector, as Fastmarkets RISI. Businesses working in the pulp and paper, packagingwood productstimber, biomasstissue, and nonwovens markets use Fastmarkets RISI data and insights to benchmark prices, settle contracts and inform their strategies worldwide. Along with objective price reporting and industry data, Fastmarkets RISI provides forecasts, analysisconferences and consulting services to stakeholders throughout the forest products supply chain.

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Jewish And Muslim Historic Interfaith Partnership


NEW YORK, Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — As the first anniversary of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting approaches, The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) and the Muslim World League announced an historic partnership for an innovative Season of Twinning program that will bring together rabbis and imams and their synagogues and mosques.

Muslim World League Logo

For a decade, the FFEU’s Season of Twinning has brought together thousands of Muslims and Jews in an effort to create more opportunities for interfaith dialogue. This year, more than 50 events will take place in 35 countries, on five continents. Events will be held between November 2019 and January 2020. Programs include pulpit exchanges among rabbis and imams, and events geared toward Muslim and Jewish student groups, young leadership bodies, families and children. Events focus on celebrating commonalities in the two faith traditions. Together, they show their support in combatting Islamophobia and anti-Semitism by performing acts of social service together in recognition of the common moral imperative in both Islam and Judaism to help those in need.

“As Muslims and Jews, we share a common faith and a common fate, and it is our single destiny to strengthen our bond and to stand up for one another as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia continue to increase around the world, especially here in the United States,” said FFEU President Rabbi Marc Schneier. “As the first anniversary of the Pittsburgh shooting approaches, we are reminded of how important this partnership is and appreciate the Muslim community’s support after the massacre took place last year.”

“Whether it was the attacks on Jews in Pittsburgh or in Germany, Muslims in New Zealand, or on Christians in Sri Lanka, we have seen our houses of worship targeted, the sanctity of our communities violated, and the basis of peaceful and collaborative coexistence threatened,” said Muslim World League Secretary General Dr. Mohammad bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa. “To defeat hate, we must speak and listen to one another, learn from one another and unite with one another.”

“We must take this tragedy and create something positive out of it and so, together with Dr. Mohammad Al-Issa and the Muslim World League, we’re partnering with 50 organizations around the world to create program for further fortify this close bond between Muslims and Jews,” added Schneier.

Founded in 1989, the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding is the global address for Muslim-Jewish relations. FFEU President Rabbi Marc Schneier co-authored Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation about the Issues That Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims. For more information, visit https://ffeu.org/.

The Muslim World League, based in the Holy City of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is a non-governmental organization based in the Holy City of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, that is committed to articulating the true and moderate Islam. Dr. Al-Issa, whose interfaith efforts include historic agreements with the Vatican and evangelical Christian organizations, will meet the senior leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints next month in Salt Lake City. He also plans to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz in January. For more information, visit https://themwl.org/en/.

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‫المركز الروسي للتصدير يعلن عن عدد من المبادرات للتعاون الروسي الأفريقي 

موسكو، 23 أكتوبر 2019 /PRNewswire/ — يعلن المركز الروسي للتصدير عن عدد من المبادرات للتعاون الروسي الأفريقي، ويشمل ذلك مشروع من أجل المنطقة الصناعية الروسية في مصر وإعادة بناء مصنع أجاوكوتا للصلب مع نيجيريا فضلاً عن أنشطة هامة أخرى.

سوف يعلن المركز الروسي للتصدير (REC) عن عدد من المبادرات للتعاون الروسي الأفريقي خلال المنتدى الروسي الأفريقي (الذي يقام على مدى يومي 23 و24 أكتوبر في مدينة سوتشي الروسية). يروّج المركز للتصدير بدون موارد في مصر وجمهورية جنوب أفريقيا والجزائر وأنجولا وكينيا ونيجيريا وزامبيا وزيمبابوي ودول أفريقية أخرى، بينما يشارك بنك Afreximbank بوصفه الشريك الرئيس في أفريقيا. 

تعتبر المنطقة الصناعية الروسية (RIZ) التي سيُعلن عنها خلال المنتدى واحدة من المشروعات الأفريقية الأساسية للمركز، وهي مشروع البنية التحتية واسع النطاق الأول في التاريخ الحديث للعلاقات الاقتصادية الروسية الأفريقية. يضم المشروع مجمعًا فريدًا من نوعه تبلغ مساحته 525 هكتار (1297,3 فدان) في موقع شرق بورسعيد بالمنطقة الاقتصادية لقناة السويس، بالقرب من الأسواق الواعدة في الشرق الأوسط وأفريقيا، وسوف يُزود بمرافق للإنتاج من المصدّرين والموردين الروس. وقد تم بالفعل التوقيع على 25 مذكرة تفاهم مع الشركات الروسية باعتبارهم مشغلين محتملين في المنطقة الصناعية الروسية.

وقد صرّح أندريه سلبنيف، المدير العام للمركز الروسي للتصدير، قائلاً: “وفقًا لتوقعاتنا الإيجابية، سيشهد التعاون الروسي الأفريقي نموًا في عام 2020 بما يقارب 20%. وسيكون للمنطقة الصناعية الروسية بالغ الأثر على هذا التعاون.”

وأما مذكرة التعاون في مشروع إنشاء مصنع أجاوكوتا للصلب التي سيوقعها المركز خلال المنتدى فهي مذكرة مهمة. فهذا المصنع هو أكبر مصنع للصلب في نيجيريا وظل غير مكتمل على مدار العقود الأربعة الماضية. عقد المركز مفاوضات مع الحكومة الفيدرالية في نيجيريا وولاية كوجي وإدارة مصنع أجاوكوتا للصلب وبنك Afreximbank، وتمت تلبية جميع المتطلبات الضرورية لتنفيذ هذا المشروع بنجاح. 

ومن بين المشروعات الهامة الأخرى نجد توريد عربات الركاب لهيئة السكك الحديدية المصرية؛ واتفاقيات التعاون لتعزيز بناء الطائرات المدنية الروسية؛ وحلول في مجال استصلاح الأراضي في أفريقيا؛ فضلاً عن العديد من الاتفاقيات ومذكرات التفاهم بين الشركات الروسية والأنجولية. كما يتم توقيع عدد من الاتفاقيات الهامة فيما بين البنوك، بما في ذلك اتفاقية لإنشاء آلية لتمويل التجارة الروسية الأفريقية، ومذكرة تعاون بين المركز الروسي للتصدير وFirst Bank في نيجيريا. 

‫الإمارات العربية المتحدة تدعو أصحاب الأفكار الإبداعية لاكتشاف حلول للتصدي لتحديات الأمن الغذائي العالمي

وزيرة الدولة للأمن الغذائي بالإمارات العربية المتحدة تكشف عن خطط الدولة للتصدي لتحديات الأمن الغذائي العالمي من خلال مسابقة “تحدي تكنولوجيا الغذاء”

روما، 24 أكتوبر  2019  — بمناسبة اليوم العالمي للغذاء الذي تحتفي به منظمة الأغذية والزراعة للأمم المتحدة في روما، تحدثت معالي مريم بنت محمد سعيد حارب المهيري ، وزيرة الدولة للأمن الغذائي بدولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة، عن أهمية التحديات التي تواجه الأمن الغذائي العالمي وتأثيرها على الأجيال المستقبلية.

وفي إطار مناشدتها الطلاب الجامعيين والشركات الناشئة في مراحلها الأولى وحاضنات التقنية في الأسواق الزراعية الحضرية المتقدمة حول العالم، كشفت الوزيرة عن خطط حكومة دولة الإمارات لمواجهة تحديات الأمن الغذائي وإعداد حلول مبتكرة عبر سلسلة القيمة الغذائية من خلال نداء مفتوح للاشتراك في مسابقة “تحدي تكنولوجيا الغذاء”.

وتسعى مسابقة تحدي تكنولوجيا الغذاء المفتوحة أمام المتقدمين من جميع أنحاء العالم لوضع حلول مجدية تجاريًا تعزز الممارسات الغذائية المستدامة وتحاكي الإنتاج الغذائي المحلي في الإمارات العربية المتحدة. وفي نهاية المسابقة، ستتم مكافأة أربعة فرق بجوائز مجموعها مليون دولار أمريكي.

كما وأطلق صاحب السمو الشيخ محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم، نائب رئيس الدولة، رئيس مجلس الوزراء، حاكم دبي، “مسابقة تحدي تكنولوجيا الغذاء” مع مكتب الأمن الغذائي بالإمارات العربية المتحدة بالشراكة مع شركة “تمكين” التي تتخذ من أبوظبي مقراً لها والمكلفة بتنفيذ مشاريع تهدف إلى تحقيق رؤية التنمية القائمة على المعرفة لدولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة.

وفي معرض حديثها عن يوم الغذاء العالمي، قالت معالي مريم المهيري: “على الرغم من التحديات المتعلقة بندرة الموارد المائية والأراضي الصالحة للزراعة، بدأت حلول التقنيات الزراعية تكتسب زخمًا في الإمارات. وتهدف مسابقة تحدي تكنولوجيا الغذاء إلى جذب العقول المستنيرة وتشجيع المبتكرين من جميع أنحاء العالم على المشاركة في صياغة مستقبل أنظمة الغذاء المستدامة. ونرى أنه بإمكاننا التوصّل إلى نموذج يحتذي به العالم من خلال إطلاق هذا التحدي وإحراز نتائج ملموسة عبر حلول التقنيات الزراعية “.

طلبات المشاركة لتحدي تكنولوجيا الغذاء مفتوحة حتى فبراير 2020 بعدها سيتمّ إعداد قائمة مختصرة للمتقدمين واختيار أفضل 10 فرق لعرض دراسات الجدوى في حفل الجوائز المزمع عقده في جامعة نيويورك أبوظبي في أبريل 2020. وتتضمن لجنة التحكيم مجموعة من الخبراء في مجال التقنيات الزراعية وسيتم إختيار أربعة فائزين في فئتين هما الزراعة المنزلية والزراعة المجتمعية.

يمكن للمهتمّين تقديم طلباتهم عبر الموقع الإلكتروني www.foodtechchallenge.com.-

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Sinopec Debuts World’s Largest Crawler Crane in Saudi Arabia

Co-developed with XCMG, the XGC88000 4,000-ton crawler crane has the highest capacity in its class.

JUBAIL INDUSTRIAL CITY, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (“Sinopec” or the “Company”) (HKEX: 386; SSE: 600028; NYSE: SNP) debuted the XGC88000, 4,000-ton crawler crane, on October 24 at the SABIC UNITE EOEG III project construction site in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia. The XGC88000 currently holds the world record as the highest capacity crawler crane.

Representatives from Sinopec, SABIC, Samsung Engineering and more than 20 other companies were present for the debut of the XGC88000 and witness the moment the XGC88000 hoisted and a 1,926-ton washing tower – the heaviest and most crucial piece of equipment in the UNITE EOEG III project – in under five hours on its first attempt. The historic event showcases Sinopec’s superb engineering and construction capabilities.

“With its world-leading lift capacity, the XGC88000 is well equipped for energy construction projects in the oil, chemical and coal chemical industries. It has already demonstrated its capabilities in multiple key projects within China, and we are confident that the world’s largest crawler crane will continue to achieve success in the international market,” said Wang Guohua, Vice President of Sinopec Engineering Group and the GM of SEG Heavy Lifting.

Jointly developed by Sinopec and China’s leading construction machinery manufacturer XCMG, the XGC88000 is one of Sinopec’s flagship products. It is internationally recognized for its application of three pioneering technologies, six world-leading technologies and more than 80 national patents.

In addition to having the highest lifting capacity of any crawler crane worldwide, the XGC88000 boasts a massive lift momentum of 88,000 tons per meter.and is equipped with a long-distance wireless remote control system for different foundation conditions and is designed for quick and convenient disassembly. Since 2013, the model has traveled more than 30,000 kilometers (18,641 miles) and has hoisted 150 pieces of equipment with a collectively weighing 120,000 tons. It currently holds the hoisting world record for lifting a 2,155-ton piece of equipment to a height of 118 meters (623,040 feet).

Following its debut, the XGC88000 will stay at Jubail to hoist two 1,312-ton reactors before being transported to the GAS-P9 air separation project for the National Industrial Gases Company (NIGC) in Saudi Arabia and the DUQM oil refining project in Oman.

About Sinopec Corp.

Sinopec Corp. is one of the largest integrated energy and chemical companies in China. Its principal operations include the exploration, production, transportation and sale of petroleum and natural gas, petrochemical and coal chemical products, synthetic fiber, fertilizer and other chemical products, as well as other commodities and technologies. In addition, Sinopec is engaged in the research, development and application of energy technologies.

With a corporate mission of ‘fueling beautiful life’, Sinopec pursues strategies of value-orientation, innovation-driven development, integrated resource allocation, open cooperation and green and low-carbon growth to build a world-leading energy and chemical company.

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World Federation of Neurology Reveals New Frontiers in Epilepsy Treatment for Children, Pregnant Women and, New Links Between ADHD and Epilepsy at 24th Annual World Congress of Neurology, Dubai, Oct 27 – 31

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — World Federation of Neurology — The road to caring for patients with epilepsy is leading to more effective options for patients of all ages, according to expert findings unveiled by members of the World Federation of Neurology. Breakthrough advances in epilepsy research will take center stage as the Federation hosts the XXIV World Congress of Neurology (WCN 2019) in Dubai, UAE, Oct. 27-31, 2019. Epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder in both children and adults. WCN 2019 will highlight three critical areas of epilepsy research and treatment with particular emphasis on how the disorder impacts women and children.

WCN 2019: Accelerating the Pace of Change

New Ways Forward in Childhood Epilepsy: Fact or Hype?
Even with a considerable increase in the number of antiepileptic drugs developed in the past three decades, the portion of resistant individuals remains the same—about 30 percent of the population.

“Children with early-onset epilepsy are more at risk of being resistant to medication than other groups,” said Helen Cross, MD, PhD, professor at UCL-Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. “Because of this, seizures are ongoing and learning development is affected. If doctors can improve seizure control, it would lead to an increase in the child’s ability to learn, their chance of being seizure-free and a better quality of life.”

With advances in brain imaging and a deeper understanding of genetics, researchers have uncovered more causes of epilepsy in the drug-resistant population and are revising how they undertake treatment considerations, particularly in the early onset of complex epilepsies.

These developments could pave the way for early diagnosis and prompt, targeted treatment, making true precision medicine an attainable goal.

Phenotyping specific epilepsy syndromes has allowed new treatments to be determined and evaluated, and has identified which treatments to avoid. By determining the specific cause of the syndrome, researchers can narrow their focus on more precise treatments, which may make a difference in the long-term outcome for patients. In the area of genetic abnormalities, the underlying pathophysiology can realize other targets within the pathways that have been identified and lead the way for immunotherapy for immune-mediated epilepsies.

“Insights into the brain and genetic pathways have changed the focus from suppressing seizures to understanding the cause, in order to prevent seizures and improve neurodevelopmental outcomes,” said Prof. Cross.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Epilepsy
“ADHD is reported to be prevalent in 30 to 40 percent of children with epilepsy in ADHD-targeted epilepsy studies,” said Jo Wilmshurst, MBBS, MD, MRCP, FCPaed, Head of the Red Cross Children’s Hospital’s Department of Pediatric Neurology. As population studies report lower figures, unless the comorbidity is specifically looked for, ADHD can be missed.

“Since the comorbidity of ADHD in children with epilepsy is associated with a significant impact on quality of life, it’s important to find medical interventions that support positive outcomes for both epilepsy and ADHD,” said Prof. Wilmshurst.

Clinicians have many concerns when treating ADHD in children and adolescents with epilepsy, including how to distinguish ADHD from other conditions, and manage it without exacerbating the seizures. Based on these identified concerns, researchers conducted a systematic review of studies on the screening, diagnosis, and management of ADHD in children with epilepsy, then documented the quality of evidence and the strength of the recommendations.

World Federation of Neurology Logo

Their findings include American Academy of Neurology practice parameter Level B evidence supporting the efficacy of methylphenidate in children with epilepsy and comorbid ADHD. They also revealed Level B evidence that poor seizure control is associated with increased risk of ADHD, and Level A evidence that children who have epilepsy with comorbid intellectual and developmental disabilities are at increased risk of ADHD, among other findings.

“Thanks to the work of the Pediatric Commission Comorbidities Task Force, patients have better access to care and physicians are better-equipped to aid patients,” said Prof. Wilmshurst. “With this review, we can narrow down areas requiring more research and better design studies to create consistency in the methodology and focus on direct study questions.”

Practical Management of Epilepsy and Pregnancy
Epilepsy can have serious consequences if seizures aren’t controlled, resulting in particular challenges for pregnant women. The challenge is to find an effective treatment, with fewer side effects during pregnancy.

“Every mother is worried about the outcome of her pregnancy—the worry is no less for a woman with epilepsy,” said Torbjörn Tomson, MD, PhD, a professor at Karolinska Institute.

His WCN 2019 lecture on Sunday, Oct. 27 2019, “Practical Management of Epilepsy and Pregnancy” explores the risks, challenges, and goals in the management of maternal epilepsy with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). The research addresses the need to balance the risks associated with antiepileptic drug use during pregnancy against those associated with poorly controlled epilepsy for both the mother and child.

“If we look at the changes in drug selection in epilepsy treatment over the past 10 to 15 years, we’ve seen major changes in the drugs used,” said Prof. Tomson. “In parallel with such changes, we found that the rates of malformations in the offspring have gone down recently.”

This study revealed that treatment choices make a difference in the safety of the offspring. The rate of malformations 15 years ago was 6 percent. But recent research places the rate at 4.4 percent, reducing the risk of offspring malformations by 27 percent.

“We need to continue to collect information on the new antiepileptic drugs to know to what extent they contribute to improved outcomes during pregnancy,” said Prof. Tomson. “But the most important takeaway is that women with epilepsy should discuss future pregnancies with their physicians well in advance of conception to discuss treatment options.”

About the World Federation of Neurology
The World Federation of Neurology represents 120 member neurological societies around the globe to foster quality neurology and brain health worldwide by promoting neurological education and training with an emphasis on under-resourced areas of the world. WFN supports the spread of accurate research and clinical information in the pursuit of improvements in the field of neurology. With support from member organizations around the globe, WFN unites the world to allow patients greater access to brain health. For more information, please visit the WCN 2019 web site at www.wfneurology.org, find our live stream press conferences on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wfneurology/, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/wfneurology or by searching using the tag #WCN2019.

Media Contact
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CSO from US State Department and SDRPY Complete 2nd Stabilization Workshop

Workshop trained more than 80 professionals from a number of Saudi ministries and government agencies

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — A workshop focused on key challenges to stabilization operations and organized by the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY) in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO), and with the participation of the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, U.S. Embassy Sana’a, USAID, and Department of Defense has concluded. Building on the activities of a workshop in April, participants discussed future stabilization programs and ways to improve international coordination of Yemen demining activities.

US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid (L) with Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed bin Saeed Al Jabir at the 'Stabilization 2' Workshop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The workshop included participants from Saudi ministries, including Defense, Foreign Affairs, Labor and Social Development, Finance, Media, and Economy and Planning, and from the Saudi Fund for Development and King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief). Saudi Ambassador to Yemen and Supervisor-General of the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen Mohammed Al Jabir and U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Christopher Henzel gave opening speeches. Ambassador Al Jabir, Ambassador Henzel and U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John P. Abizaid delivered remarks at the conclusion of the event.

Saudi Ambassador to Yemen and Supervisor-General of the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen Mohammed Al Jabir (L) presents an honorary shield to a participant in the 'Stabilization 2' Workshop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Ambassadors Abizaid and Henzel noted that U.S. policy remained focused on working with America’s international partners to bring peace, prosperity, and security to Yemen. They stressed U.S. support for diplomatic engagement to end the fighting, facilitating delivery of humanitarian relief, and achieving a comprehensive political agreement in Yemen in coordination with the UN Special Envoy and UN-mediated peace talks.

“Four years into the conflict in Yemen, we must work together to find a political solution, and we also must help Yemeni citizens and institutions achieve and maintain the peace,” said Ambassador Abizaid. “There is no doubt that a stable Yemen is in the interests of all Yemenis, but also the United States and Saudi Arabia.”

“Sustainable development is the key to stabilization in Yemen, and we have had a very productive exchange of views and knowledge here,” Ambassador Al Jabir said of the workshop. “The US-Saudi partnership is vital to international stability and security.”

Saudi Ambassador to Yemen and Supervisor-General of the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen Mohammed Al Jabir (L) presents an honorary shield to a participant in the 'Stabilization 2' Workshop in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The mission of the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen is to create the conditions for stability, peace, prosperity and security in Yemen by implementing sustainable development projects and initiatives in all Yemeni provinces. The mission of the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations is to anticipate, prevent, and respond to conflict that undermines U.S. national interests.

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OTT & Medical Tourism Association sign agreement for UK’s first dedicated Medical Tourism Travel Trade Training and Booking Platform

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, Oct. 24, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Online Travel Training (OTT) and the Medical Tourism Association (MTA) have signed an agreement for phase two partnership with a goal to educate and engage travel agents in the UK in medical tourism.

Medical Tourism Association Logo

The first agreement customizing the Certified Medical Tourism Professional® (CMTP) certification program for the UK travel trade was launched last month. The CMTP course is the first course offered to over 90,000 UK travel trade professionals through OTT.

The Certified Medical Travel Professional® (CMTP) is a training program and certification that provides participants with a comprehensive overview of the medical tourism industry, latest trends, key stakeholders, best practices and business models. Launched in 2012, the CMTP program is available online or as a live workshop and is the premier medical travel certification for professionals in the industry. Managed by Global Healthcare Accreditation, CMTP certifications are renewable each year with certified professionals having access to the online e-learning program for continuing education courses.

According to Ms. Karen Timmons, GHA’s chief executive officer, “Delivering an outstanding medical travel experience on a consistent basis is not something that can be improvised; it requires in-depth knowledge of your customers’ needs and expectations.  There are considerations regarding culture and language, care management, travel coordination, risk mitigation and legal and privacy issues.  Travel agents bring their own unique expertise and experience that can be leveraged within the medical travel industry to support traveling patients, health and wellness travelers and the providers who serve them.”

MTA President Renée-Marie Stephano says: “For a travel agent to become a medical travel facilitator it is important to understand the patient’s journey; from identifying the need for medical care to recovery and returning home. It is important that the travel agent is aware of the regulations and responsibilities they are taking on and how best to handle them.”

The Medical Tourism Ecosystem will be offered by PulseProtocol, LLC. Pulse is a multi-sided marketplace that helps providers, vendors, hospitals, and other businesses engage in medical tourism. The platform features many innovative features, such as Integrated CRM & pipeline management, integrated payment solutions with escrow, 24-hour multi-lingual customer service support, and more.

“Medical tourism has vast potential but too many industry players are struggling with building their provider networks and not using good technology. By providing an ecosystem for OTT members to access top quality, reliable care, Pulse aims to support the travel trade through risk reduction, secure payments, and access to a network of top healthcare providers,” said Robert Page, founder of Pulse.

Managing Director of OTT, Julia Feuell added: “OTT is proud to be chosen to partner with the Medical Tourism Association to create a new, well trained distribution channel for medical tourism. This is an exciting new business stream for travel agencies to embrace and we’re looking forward to supporting this specialist sector with training, seminars and announcements to our 101,000 UK members.”

Notes to editor:

Medical Tourism is already a multi-billion-dollar industry which is predicted to rise by up to 25 per cent per year within the next 10 years, according to a study by Visa-Oxford Economics. In 2016, 144,000 people travelled abroad from the UK – a rapid increase from 48,000, two years earlier. Increasing waiting times, especially on hip, knee, and cataract operations are common causes of UK patients’ medical migration. Within Europe, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Poland are gradually becoming choice destinations for medical tourism, according to the Medical Tourism Index Report.

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