Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World spoke at China’s Belt and Road Summit in Hong Kong recently, highlighting the need for better international cross-sector connectivity in order to realise the significant trade potential.
Speaking on a panel entitled ‘Enhancing cross-sector connectivity along the Belt and Road’ he stressed the impact on global trade that economic cooperation can bring, with more than 60 countries involved in the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO of DP World, said: “With a project of this magnitude, it is essential that we remove complexities from the supply chain to realise the potential benefits of such a global initiative.
“International transport routes need to support seamless trade movement more than ever – this means simplifying customs requirements and standardising logistics, addressing different rail gauges and ICT [Information Communication Technology] issues so that goods can move smoothly from point A to B without interruption and unnecessary bottlenecks. This requires cross sector and cross border partnerships.
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“Dubai and the UAE are exporting this knowledge and expertise across the world. We’ve pioneered multimodal transport and logistics connectivity with smart technology at our flagship Jebel Ali Port and Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), home to 7,300 companies.
“It has tremendous capability to process and deliver cargo with remarkable efficiency and is an outstanding example of how important soft and hard infrastructure are to the socio-economic success of any nation. That experience is being applied to our other operations across the world.
“China is a key part of our global network. Our joint ventures in Qingdao, Tianjin, Yantai and Hong Kong are very important to us and are a perfect example of the impact of strong partnerships to realise efficiencies along the supply chain.”
On the sidelines of the Summit, Mr Bin Sulayem met Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of the Economy in the United Arab Emirates and Ms Carrie Lam, Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Government.
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Bin Sulayem continues: “In the modern world, there is a demand for faster, safer and more cost effective transport of goods across the supply chain. Free zones need to plug into integrated logistics and coordinate with the supply chain community to ensure hinterland access which can be a major inhibitor of economic growth, especially in developing markets.
“Jafza is the largest free zone in the Middle East and North Africa and its success is based on its continuing ability to attract companies, encouraging them to grow by providing a supportive corporate governance, customs, legal and operational environment.”
DP World’s operations in Asia across to Europe with its maritime and inland capabilities mean that it is well positioned to support cargo movements along the OBOR.
The company’s presence in Kazakhstan highlights its role in advising governments around the world on how to develop their trade and logistics sectors. Additionally, the recent opening of DP World Yarimca in Turkey adds another valuable outlet to the OBOR initiative.
Bilateral trade between the UAE and China has more than doubled in the last five years, standing at almost US$55 billion today. The UAE is also the largest Middle Eastern market for Chinese goods and is home to some 4,200 Chinese companies.