DP World, one of the world's largest port operators, launched an e-commerce platform to increase trade with Africa and boost the reach of companies from the UAE and world to the continent.
Dubuy.com, a business-to-business online marketplace, will create digital trading corridors to the physical corridors DP World has built across the African continent with its investment in ports, terminals and logistics operations, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
The platform is available in Rwanda and will be expanded to other African markets and globally.
Dubuy.com is partnering with Rwandan businesses and the government to unlock market access for small and medium-sized enterprises in the UAE, using DP World's integrated supply chain services. The platform will help global companies find and serve new trading partners in Africa, opening up markets with rapid economic growth.
"The combination of Dubuy.com with DP World's physical logistics infrastructure … will solve some of the key challenges to the growth of e-commerce, including reliable fulfilment, secure financial transactions and the movement of goods," DP world said.
Online marketplaces are a significant opportunity for economic growth in Africa, which accounts for less than 0.5 per cent of global e-commerce, the company said, citing the United Nations Conference on Development and Trade data.
In 2018, trade between the UAE, the second-biggest Arab economy, and Rwanda reached $434.8 million, with the volume of trade growing in the last decade as part of wider bilateral and economic ties between the two countries.
"Dubuy.com will make the previously impossible, possible, for many Rwandan entrepreneurs to trade with the UAE and beyond," Clare Akamanzi, chief executive at Rwanda Development Board, said. “People and companies everywhere are turning to technology to fuel their post-pandemic recovery and improve access to global trade.”
Backed by reliable logistical networks, the e-commerce platforms can lead the charge in transforming how business is done across the continent, she added.
DP World, which has already invested in a logistics hub in Rwanda, said Dubuy.com is the first online store created for all Rwandan licensed exporters, importers, and manufacturers.
The platform “represents a new model of partnership with the UAE”, allowing Rwandan businesses to link with new markets in Africa, the Middle East and eventually with the rest of the world, Mahmood Al Bastaki, chief operating officer of Dubai Trade World, said.