DP World places Dubai at centre of new south-south trade opportunities

Stack of shipping containers

Since being launched as a policy initiative by the Dubai government in 2019, DP World’s World Logistics Passport (WLP) now has nine countries signed up as the effort to streamline logistics and create new market opportunities spreads its reach.

The WLP looks to provide a loyalty programme to freight forwarders, traders and business owners to draw the maximum possible benefits from their trading operations.

“Business owners have the ability to go back and move a freight through multiple ports, through countries and then get through and accelerate the flow of goods to ports, airports, inland ports and finally seaports,” explained Mike Bhaskaran, COO – Logistics and Technology, DP World.

Bhaskaran said there are multiple benefits to the programme, from financing to documentation and the ability to trade data quickly between entities.

“The reason why we are doing that is we want a lot of the freight from the Far East to go through Dubai and then reach new market in Africa and Latin America,” Bhaskaran said, “We have the goal of increasing trade value for Dubai but also for all participating countries.”

Unique to this programme is that Dubai is at the centre. “How do we connect it via Dubai, that is the permanent thing,” Bhaskaran said.

With Dubai at the focal point of this logistics chain, Bhaskaran said the WLP they can look for and create alternative routes for goods to be moved when the supply chain gets congested.

Three pillars of stakeholders in the WLP ecosystem (Source: DP World)

“Because of our relationship with the countries, the businesses, the anchor tenants and fortune companies we have the ability to go back and help them in multiple directions,” he said.

Regarding the focus on Africa and Latin American countries, Bhaskaran said there has not necessarily been a shift in global marketplace per se, rather an increase in opportunities in these areas.

Africa is a huge market for us. It is a growing market. And if you see any kind of numbers as it relates to broader e-commerce or B2B business, the upside over the next five years is really, really good,” he explained.

DP World wants to invest in infrastructure in these areas, which includes data systems and the fast flow of logistics.

“Then we want to take the technologies and the capabilities we have built in Latin America and Africa and to go back and then start looking at new trade opportunities, both for them and for us as well as a win-win.”

DP World believes the WLP will have a 2% impact on global trade over the next five years.

Bhaskaran provided an example of how this may be achieved, “When we open up these markets maybe we find coffee that we can now make available for rest of the world’s markets, which before was literally was not available.”

In 2021 alone the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, Indonesia, South Africa and a number of leading UAE Institutions have joined the WLP initiative.

To date Brazil, Colombia, Senegal, Kazakhstan, and Uruguay have also registered as partners of the WLP.

New markets become easier to access as customs clearance will be simplified. “This all will help them in generating this 2% growth over a period of five years,” Bhaskaran claimed.

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