Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Global Trade Report Studies Freight and Logistics Supply Chain

Importance of Emerging Markets Highlighted
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE - Last week saw the publication of ‘Global Enabling Trade Report’ by the World Economic Forum (WEF) which looks at factors such as tariffs, customs administration and border transparency to rank 132 countries according to their ability to enable trade. The report considers the issue of supply chain integrity and the steps both countries and companies can take to ensure that quality, security and trade are mutually reinforcing whilst criticising the analytic systems currently available to optimise freight and logistics systems.

Many modern products rely absolutely on supply chain integrity with so many counterfeit items coming onto the market particularly in the fashion, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors. The report also emphasises the change in market conditions following the collapse of some shipping sectors in 2009 and points out the importance of the emerging markets as opposed to the traditional hunting grounds of global logistics groups.

One company which says it has built a strong position in these new territories is Agility which claims that, far from retreating from those countries identified in the WEF report as challenging, the group has built a strong position in emerging markets, including those in the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe and increasingly Latin America and Africa. The company claims it looked to ongoing growth in these markets in the face of economic gloom elsewhere, a view it now considers to be well founded since the WEF report points clearly to the leading role in trade uplift played by emerging markets.

Since January 2008, there have been 61 new trade agreements, only five of which were between developed countries, 32 involved developed and developing countries and 24 were between developing countries, such agreements boost emerging market economies and help fight poverty in its traditional homelands. Tarek Sultan, Chairman and Managing Director, Agility, comments:

“The report shows clearly how accepted wisdom about trade has been turned on its head. We see this every day across emerging and developed markets alike -- there is no doubt that business imperatives and increasingly global supply chains are opening doors and helping establish new trade flows.”

The Global Enabling Trade Report 2012 rates India, Russia and China amongst the most challenging markets for trade, both of which Agility says are key markets for the group. Tarek Sultan continues:

“We see steady improvement in ease of doing business in these big markets, while other markets such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam are all improving infrastructure and gaining attractiveness,”