DP World to develop Shanghai free trade zone in China expansion

Global ports operator to support logistics and trade development at the Lin-Gang Special Area

DP World's Terminal 2 at Jebel Ali Port in Dubai. Reuters
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Global ports operator DP World has agreed to develop logistics and trade at the Lin-Gang Special Area, a free trade zone in south-east Shanghai, as it expands its operations in China.

The Dubai-based company will work with the Shanghai Lin-Gang Economic Development Group and use the World Logistics Passport (WLP) programme, a private sector-led initiative aiming to boost the flow of global trade, DP World said in a statement on Wednesday.

The WLP will provide Chinese businesses with faster and cheaper access to markets in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, the ports operator said.

"Efficient supply chains make products and services more competitive and selling to more markets increases economic resilience. The WLP helps deliver this, whilst also strengthening bilateral relations between the People’s Republic of China and the United Arab Emirates," said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, group chairman and chief executive of DP World.

He is also the chairman of Dubai Ports, Customs and Freezone Corporation, which owns and runs the WLP.

There are more than 40,000 companies registered in Lin-Gang, including Tesla, China International Maritime Containers, China State Shipbuilding Corporatio, Caterpillar, and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China.

"Our partnership with DP World could help Lin-Gang to build an open special zone, and accelerate the establishment of a new development platform to create a channel and gate for Chinese enterprises to develop business in [the] Middle East, Indian subcontinent, and Red Sea region, Lin-Gang's party secretary Jinshan Chen said.

Under the agreement with DP World, Lin-gang will call on major enterprises in the Yangtze River Delta to jointly promote the WLP to benefit the programme, DP World said.

Chinese traders and freight forwarders who become WLP members will have access to benefits offered by WLP partners, who include DP World, Thai Airways and Emirates SkyCargo. These benefits include fast-tracking cargo, reducing customs clearance and removing administrative costs.

DP World reported a 2.1 per cent increase in gross container volumes during the third quarter of 2022 as global trade flows remain resilient, but warned the near-term outlook remains uncertain.

The Dubai-based ports operator handled 20.1 million 20ft-equivalent units across its global portfolio of terminals in the three-month period to the end of September.

The growth was mainly driven by Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, the Americas and Australia.

Updated: November 02, 2022, 4:20 PM