Davos: Container terminal giant DP World took a cautiously upbeat view on global economic prospects, saying World Bank warnings on slower growth and an increased threat of recession may be overly pessimistic.
“I don’t know that all that will happen in 2023,” Chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem told Bloomberg Television at the Global Economic Forum in Davos. “We understand that there are issues, but I think that business is capable to deal with it. We learned the hard way during Covid and I think we can overcome it.”
The World Bank slashed growth forecasts for most countries and regions this month and warned that new shocks could tip the economy into a recession. Global gross domestic product will probably increase 1.7 per cent this year, about half the pace forecast in June and the third-worst performance in three decades.
World trade and container volumes will get a boost from China’s reopening, helping to ease the economic situation, though there won’t be an immediate sharp upswing, Bin Sulayem said Tuesday.
Instead, cargo shipments will build toward the fourth quarter as backlogs of export goods are addressed, he predicted.
DP World continues to view the UK as a focus for investment, despite financial and political upheaval there, Bin Sulayem told Bloomberg, with the company spending $366 million on a developing a fourth berth at its London Gateway container hub.
The Dubai-based group separately published research highlighting changes to supply chains as companies increasingly shift manufacturing closer to home, a move known as on-shoring, to protect against disruption from geopolitical events and reduce costs.