Dubai’s DP World urges African leaders to remove trade barriers

Dubai’s DP World has urged African leaders to remove trade barriers as it looks to increase investments in the continent.

DP World’s Group chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, told leader and top executives in Dakar, Senegal that the key to African economic emergence lies in removal of barriers, increased connectivity between nations and infrastructure development. 

“We believe in the viability of Africa, we believe in investing in the continent,” he told the audience at the Africa Emergence Conference 2019.

Addressing a panel on how private institutions can help support emergence in Africa with President Macky Sall of Senegal and Prime Minister Mahatir Mohammed of Malaysia, he said economic emergence is dependant on increasing inter African trade and infrastructure development.

“The removal of trade barriers is very important. In Africa tariffs are 50 percent higher in than in Latin America and Asia,” he said. “Intraregional trade in Africa is only 12 percent while in Europe, Asia and Latin America is over 50 percent, we need to improve this to prosper,” he added.

Sulayem reiterated the company’s commitment to supporting the economic growth of Senegal and developing Dakar into a major logistics hub and gateway for West Africa.

“We believe in connecting landlocked nations to the world and international markets. Our logistics park in Rwanda will reduce costs across the country and region,” he said. “The price of container moving from Shanghai to an East African port is anywhere between $500 to $1,000, the price of the same container from the port to Kigali is $5,000,” he added

President Macky Sall of Senegal echoed his comments, saying: “What the CEO said is the truth, in Senegal we have experienced a change because DP World was present before I became President with a concession of 25 years at the Port of Dakar,” he said.

“Country stability is essential but also the stability of the contracts between the state and the private sector to develop foreign investment. It is evident that the public investment cannot satisfy the basic needs of the population so we need to work with private sector,” he added.

DP World has operations in Senegal, Egypt, Mozambique, Somaliland, Rwanda and Algeria and has recently signed an agreement with Mali to develop a logistics platform and the Democratic Republic of Congo for its first deep-sea port.

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