Thursday, January 23, 2020

UAE Looks to Take Central Position in Regional Freight with World Logistics Passport Scheme

Dubai Takes the Initiative with Own Silk Road Strategy
Shipping News Feature

DUBAI – At this year's World Economic Forum, Dubai took the opportunity to launch its World Logistics Passport, a major Dubai initiative to boost 'South-South' trade. The initiative links Customs World, DP World, and the Emirates Group to enhance connectivity through Dubai and, through expertise sharing and process development directly between partner countries. A pilot project operational since July 2019 has, it is claimed, increased trade by participants by 10%.

The World Logistics Passport has been designed to overcome non-tariff trade barriers such as logistics inefficiency that currently limit the growth of trade between developing markets. South-South trade is already worth an estimated US$ 4.28 trillion annually, more than half of total developing countries’ exports in 2018, according to the WTO. However, many countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa have much smaller market shares in key export products in each other’s markets compared to their shares in developed countries, indicating the potential for further substantial growth, boosting prosperity.

Designed as a points loyalty scheme, the initiative has been set up to incentivise companies and traders to use Dubai’s logistics facilities in return for cost and time savings and enhanced customs clearances. Not only will this increase the ease of moving goods in Dubai, it is intended to foster more optimal direct trade routes between Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Globally, the World Logistics Passport is aimed at enabling partner countries to leverage the expertise of Dubai’s institutions, such as DP World’s existing global logistics network of ports and economic parks, Emirates Group’s worldwide Dnata and SkyCargo network, and Dubai’s knowledge in Customs and trade governance. As a result, these partner countries will be able to improve their own processes and capability to improve security, transparency and ease of moving goods, thus transforming them into global trade hubs. His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy of the UAE, said:

“These efforts are aimed at improving quality of service and attracting a higher share of international trade at a time when Dubai is preparing to host Expo 2020. The World Logistics Passport marks the beginning of the implementation of the Dubai Silk Road strategy that will lead to a new phase of economic growth. We aim to further boost Dubai’s position as a global economic and business hub, powered by our exceptional connectivity and logistics.

“Our objective of making the UAE a global leader in innovation aligns with Dubai’s strategy. Big data and disruptive technologies can optimise trade and logistics processes allowing the development of new trade routes. Dubai’s success story should be replicated in emerging economies which have the potential to become key trade partners for the UAE.”

Speaking to global leaders at a private session organised by Dubai Logistics World (DLW) on the side lines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed said that the future of global trade is about to be disrupted by the emergence of new trading hubs that will leapfrog global stalwarts through technology adoption and optimisation of logistics processes.

Dubai is looking to expand its global footprint through partnerships and knowledge exchange with other global trade hubs. By unlocking efficiencies and value within the fastest growing economies, Dubai wants to re-draw global trade maps and change the economics of globalisation in the coming decade. Sheikh Ahmed highlighted the role of Dubai in facilitating global trade, considering its position at the centre of new trade corridors running East and West, saying:

“The Dubai Silk Road strategy recognises the interdependent nature of trade and the need for continuous collaboration towards common goals. Our objective is to exchange knowledge and capabilities with existing and new partners that want to work with Dubai and be pioneers in trade innovation along the Dubai Silk Road.”

More than 60 global policymakers from countries including Ethiopia, India, South Africa, Brazil, Angola, Indonesia, Colombia and China contributed to the session. Participants in the session concluded that Dubai could act as a focal point in enabling the transition to a technology-enabled global trade industry. Participants also stressed the importance of governance and establishing suitable mechanisms for coordination to avoid disputes that may lead to loss of value and a slowdown of progress.

Photo: His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori.