Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, approved the Dubai Silk Road strategy, which aims to build on the success Dubai has accomplished globally as a strategic trade link, according to a statement from his office on Saturday

The Dubai Silk Road strategy comprises nine initiatives and 33 projects that will see the collaboration of Emirates airline, Dubai Airports, Dubai South, Dubai Free Zones (DFZ) Council, Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), Dubai Roads and Transport Authority, DP World, Dubai Municipality, Jebel Ali Free Zone. The strategy’s initiatives cover various domains including government integration, e-commerce movement, linking value chains, air and logistics connectivity among many more.

The Dubai Silk Road strategy was prepared by the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) in collaboration with key government entities. Internally, the strategy focuses on enhancing trade between free zones and the rest of the emirates. Externally, the focus will be on enhancing strategic and operational connection of logistics services between DP World terminals across the world with Emirates airlines playing a key role.

Last July, the governments of UAE and China on Friday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) concerning joint cooperation on the China’s Silk Road Initiative, called The Belt and Road Initiative, and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Initiative, during a three-day visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the UAE.

The Crown Prince emphasised the importance of the logistics sector as a key driver of economic diversification, which was a key component in the 50-Year Charter, which outlines the vision of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in cementing Dubai as a strategic link in global trade.

The 50-Year Charter is a pledge containing nine articles that aim to develop the quality of life and guarantee a better future for generations. It was announced in January. “The logistics sector represents an essential pillar of the UAE’s and Dubai’s development and renaissance and is instrumental to promoting the sustainable, innovative and competitive economic diversification,” said Shaikh Hamdan. “It makes up about 27 per cent of Dubai’s economy”.

He also noted that the Government of Dubai has already begun the implementation of the 50-Year Charter, and stressed the significance of collaboration of all concerned entities. “Our goal of becoming an established global trade and logistics hub will reflect positively on our economy by boosting competitiveness and sustainability,” Shaikh Hamdan said.

Sultan Ahmad Bin Sulayem, the Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), said Dubai is moving ahead with boosting its capabilities in trade and logistics services through the new strategy. “The strategy augments decades of successful investment in creating renowned ports, airports, and free zones both regionally and internationally,” he said.

According to Bin Sulayem, Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade reached Dh1.302 trillion in 2017, with free zones’ contribution reaching 33 per cent. Sea trade grew to Dh467 billion and air trade reached Dh594 billion in the same period. The emirate’s external non-oil trade in the first nine months of 2018 reached Dh965.3 billion.