Region offers “extremely lucrative” growth opportunities
ME ‘filling a gap’ for Africa, Central Asia and Subcontinent
ME contract logistics sector to expand 33 % by 2017
ME freight forwarding to witness 7.8 % annual growth
UAE logistics market valuations to touch $27 billion in 2015
Dubai, April 18, 2015: His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, will open in Dubai today (Sunday) a two-day conference of FIATA, the global body of freight and logistics industry, which will review the current status of the industry and chalk out the future road map for the Middle East and Africa regions.
The Region Africa and Middle East (RAME-2015), under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, will get underway at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City. The two-day event will be attended by over 500 delegates from the Africa and Middle East, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
UAE’s National Association of Freight & Logistics (NAFL) is hosting the RAME-2015 for the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) of which it is an affiliate body. The conference is based upon the Trade Corridor that exists between the Indian Subcontinent and Africa, via the Middle East, and in particular Dubai and the UAE. DP World, Emirates, Dubai World Central, Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza), Dubai Chambers, Etihad Airways, Freight Systems, TT Club and Newage are among the sponsors.
A stellar line-up of speakers from the region and overseas will utilize the event to highlight the synergies and business potential that exist in these two regions and how other countries could benefit from them, from a shipping and logistics perspective.
The event will be addressed by H.E Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of DP World, Atiq Juma Faraj Nasib, Senior Vice President for Commercial Services at Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Yousef Al Hashemi, Senior Manager of Dubai Customs, Joseph Atonga, CEO of Kenya Ports Authority, Zunaid Pochee from Trans Kalahari Corridor Secretariat in Namibia, Adil Al Zarooni, Senior Vice President –Sales at Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza), Mahmood Al Bastaki, CEO of Dubai Trade, and Mohsen Ahmad, Vice President of Logistics District at Dubai World Central (DWC).
The other speakers are: Philip Wyllie, Consultant at the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF), Francesco Parisi, President, FIATA, Issa Baluch, Honorary Board Member, FIATA Stephen Karingi, Director, UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Tushar Jani, Chairman SCA Group, Babar Badat, Senior Vice President of FIATA, Christian Juul-Nyholm, Managing Director of Maersk Kanoo (UAE), and Anshuman Singh, CEO of Futuregroup India.
Transport Intelligence (Ti), a leading research house, estimates that the contract logistics sector in the Middle East will expand 33 per cent by 2017 – an average of 7.5 per cent a year – and predicts that growth in freight forwarding in the Middle East will be even stronger - 7.8 per cent annually until 2017.
Experts said the Middle East is ‘filling a gap’ for Africa, Central Asia, India and Pakistan, which have fast-growing consumer markets and local production but lack adequate transport infrastructure, storage and services. The sector is on a growth trajectory and is witnessing the mega trends that would help establish it as a prominent logistics hub. The GCC benefits from two unique opportunities - strong growth of volume in the trade lane between Europe and Asia and steady growth and development of manufacturing activities.
They said Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman will remain the biggest market contributors (a combined 85 per cent share) to the value of the GCC logistics sector, especially thanks to Dubai’s successful bid to host World Expo 2020.
They said Dubai has allocated a total of AED31.7 billion to build and develop its infrastructure and improve its logistics facilities in the run up to the Expo, with between AED7 and AED8 billion dedicated to building new infrastructure and upgrading existing ones. The UAE’s phenomenal growth complements the expansion of the entire Middle East where international cargo demand is expected to witness 4.9 percent increase by 2016.
According to an industry report by Ti, the Middle East’s regional freight forwarding sector will expand 7.8 per cent annually until 2017. All these positive indicators signal that the entire region led by the UAE is poised for more significant growth in the future.
According to a Frost & Sullivan study, the UAE logistics market valuations are expected to touch a staggering $27 billion in 2015, driven by an increase in import and export trade volumes and upward trends in local manufacturing. Analysis shows that economic growth across FMCG and automobile sectors will also escalate demand for logistics services in the UAE.