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DP World, China aim to boost Silk Road cooperation

Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, chairman of the port operator, expects maritime trade to improve in 2017

Gulf News

Dubai: DP World is in talks with the Chinese government on its ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative, with a view to increasing cooperation between the two countries and fulfilling the initiative’s requirements.

According to Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World and Chairman of Ports, Customs & Free Zone Corporation: “[The initiative] is a development strategy and framework, proposed by [the] Chinese government that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries — primarily between the People’s Republic of China and the rest of Eurasia, which consists of two main components, the land-based ‘Silk Road Economic Belt’ (SREB) and ocean-going ‘Maritime Silk Road’ (MSR).”

Bin Sulayem, who was speaking in an interview with Sky News, stressed the importance of cooperating with China and developing the company’s ports on the Silk Road.

“China is building six new routes that will connect it to the rest of the world. Most of our ports and land and sea stations [77 ports and stations worldwide] are located on the routes that China is building as part of this initiative,” he said.

He added that DP World would be able to provide the best services to Chinese traders using this new network of maritime and land routes.

“We at DP World have developed our business strategies to be able to cater for different logistic and shipping services at all stages,” he said.

Quizzed on the impact of US President Donald Trump’s trade policies, Bin Sulayem said: “There’s utter misunderstanding of [Trump’s] statements around free trade. As a businessman he definitely knows the significance of trade and its role in developing the world economy. Trump talked about fair trade, which necessitates the opening of all markets without expectations under fair terms. This perspective should be adopted and accepted by everyone.”

Bin Sulayem revealed that DP World had grown its revenue base in 2016 “against all odds. The gains of the first six months were more than $600 million (Dh2.2 billion). The company will announce the total revenues for 2016 [in] March.”

He added that he expected maritime trade to improve in 2017 and said DP World was likely to improve its performance.

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