Dubai: Dubai will serve as a strategic transit point for Asian trade with increased cooperation with Hamburg, Jens Meier, Managing Director of the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), told Gulf News.
A total of 162,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) moved between the UAE and Hamburg in 2010, and growth rates are expected to increase to pre-crisis levels.
"Hamburg is Europe's most important rail port and [boasts] excellent rail links, in particular to Eastern Europe's dynamic markets and of course, this also involves transit traffic via Dubai," Meier said.
"Hamburg also is China's most important port in Europe. The port thus connects two highly dynamic growth regions. At the same time it is the gateway to the world for Germany's export industry.
"As an industrial site it is also the ideal place to combine logistics and semi-manufacturing to serve a global market. The UAE forms an important part of this worldwide production and logistics chain so that both sides will benefit from a close co-operation."
Hamad Mubarak Bu Amim, Director-General of the Dubai Chamber of Commrce and Industry, said: "Dubai's location means it has access to a range of key markets across the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
"China and India remain Dubai's key trading partners and the emirate can offer Hamburg-based companies a route into and out of these high growth markets. At the same time, developments at Dubai World Central mean logistics facilities in the emirate will continue to improve and expand, opening up new opportunities for businesses and joint partnerships."
Meier and Bu Amim's statements were made before today's opening of the 3rd Dubai-Hamburg Business Forum. A high-level delegation from northern Germany are participating in the event.
The two-day forum, organised by the Dubai Chamber in partnership with the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, will discuss mutual cooperation in four key economic sectors including logistics, finance, maritime, green technologies and sustainability.
The German delegation is expected to visit prominent economic locations including the Dubai World Central and Masdar City in Abu Dhabi.
"The Dubai-Hamburg Business Forum is an ideal platform for discussions about future joint cooperation and we are certain to discuss further cooperation with Hamburg Ports Authority," Bu Amim said.
"The forum offers all of us the chance to look over the proverbial ‘rim of the tea cup' and exchange experiences with experts. Very often the numerous talks within the scope of such a forum lead to a new idea and may even result in increased cooperation," Meier added.
While there are no concrete cooperation projects ongoing between the Port of Hamburg and UAE-based companies, Meier is confident that this will be made very soon since Hamburg plans to increase the proportion of industry in its port and over the coming years to develop a large site to house handling facilities and industries.
Dubai's logistics sector is composed of several large players, including Dubai Logistics City (DLC), Emirates airline, Jebel Ali, which is the world's sixth largest container port, DP World, one of the largest marine terminal operators in the world, Dubai International Airport, Al Maktoum International Airport, and Dubai Metro.
A recent study said Dubai's logistics sector has recovered strongly and its air and sea freight are forecast to grow by 7 and 6 per cent respectively between 2012 and 2014.