Global ports operator DP World plans to set up a logistics complex in Ethiopia to cater to the landlocked African countries, said Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group’s chairman & CEO and chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation.
“We are planning to set up a logistics complex in Ethiopia where goods can be transported from the port to it, and from there it can be transported to different African landlocked countries. Business groups in Dubai can always benefit from DP World’s presence in different countries, including Rwanda and Egypt, where re-exporting opportunities are abundant,” said bin Sulayem.
He pointed out that landlocked African countries can use the Port of Berbera on the African East Coast.
“We noticed the cost of transportation is still very high in these countries and this urged us to provide solutions to reduce the cost and make land and sea transportation more efficient. This will help businesses in Dubai, for example, to ship their goods from India at a reduced cost. We are also reviewing handling charges to make sure they are always acceptable,” he explained.
Bin Sulayem said this during a meeting with heads of business groups, investors, and businessmen in different economic sectors in Dubai. DP World operates 80 terminals and ports across six continents.
The group is now raising investments in ports, services and logistics in India, Kenya, Uganda and East African countries like Somaliland and Ethiopia to help support economic growth.
He said the world is witnessing rapid changes and developments in trade. “There is now more focus on fair trade on the agenda and external policy of countries like the US, which means protective measures will be taken to curb the flow of goods from the European Union and China into the American market,” he added.
Bin Sulayem said DP World is expanding investment in India’s transportation sector and this will help develop the infrastructure and logistics facilities.
Bin Sulayem also talked about NAU project, the disruptive dhow trade initiative, which was recently approved by the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) to be one of the 10X Initiative projects which set the Dubai government on a mission to be 10 years ahead of all other cities.
Bin Sulayem said the continuous improvement of business climate and reducing the cost of doing business in Dubai is a priority of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“We realize some government fees can be reduced. The Executive Council is reviewing it. It works to prevent duplication of fees imposed by some government departments. It is also studying other challenges faced by investors and businesses,” he said.
He revealed that the PCFC is now planning to set up fenced areas outside Jebel Ali Fre Zone that would feature warehouses and provide the same benefits of a free zone.