Funding, Collaboration key to 'One Belt One Road'
Global trade enabler DP World Group Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem spoke at the Asian Logistics & Maritime Conference in Hong Kong this week, highlighting the potential of One Belt One Road (OBOR) to be the world’s largest project for global and regional trade collaboration over the next few decades.
Reflecting on DP World’s global network with over 77 marine and inland terminals in 40 countries, Mr. Bin Sulayem pinpointed three keys to OBOR’s success during a panel discussion entitled ‘China’s Grand Initiatives: Where are the Opportunities?’
DP World Group Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said: “We believe in China’s One Belt One Road initiative and see huge potential in it, but it is essential that there is a focus on funding, collaboration between nations and innovation for it to be truly successful.
“The resources required to develop OBOR are vast, with estimates between USD 2 trillion and USD 3 trillion per year. While government backed financial institutions have been created, there is a need to address the gap between public and private funding. At the same time, collaboration is key to harmonise customs processes, develop multimodal connectivity and remove complexities from the global supply chain with policies and procedures that promote cross-border trade and investment.
“Finally, opening up the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road will require creativity, entrepreneurship and an open mind. Solutions to enable trade will push the boundaries of what’s possible and this is why we’ve invested in the Hyperloop One.”
Following a USD multi-million dollar investment in US based Hyperloop One for research and development of Hyperloop technology, Mr. Bin Sulayem was recently elected to its Board of Directors. DP World and Hyperloop One are conducting a feasibility study on moving containers from ships docked at DP World’s flagship Jebel Ali Port via the Hyperloop system to a new inland container depot in Dubai. The study will also focus on efficient handling of containers, costs, benefits, and demand and volume patterns of moving cargo using the new technology.
DP World’s experience and expertise in markets across the OBOR region spans South Asia, China, Pakistan, India, Kazakhstan and throughout Europe. That multi-national and cultural understanding has enabled the company to become a “knowledge exporter” on trade issues, providing insight and advice to Governments involved.
Mr. Bin Sulayem added: “OBOR is a global initiative, one from which we all stand to benefit. Done in the right way, the opportunities from it will be enormous and we look forward to working with China and other nations to realise its goals. China and the UAE are partners in this journey - we are on the same ‘Belt and Road”.
During his visit, Mr. Bin Sulayem met with senior Chinese government officials including Carrie Lam, Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong SAR government and Margaret Fong Shun-man, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).