Business & Finance

Red Sea is temporary issue, can reach CIS countries through Pakistan: CEO Dubai’s DP World

  • Naturally, there are disturbances and noises but trade is resilient, says Sultan bin Sulayem
Published February 23, 2024

Referring to attacks on ships in the Red Sea by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis, the CEO of one of the world’s largest port operators said “trade is resilient and will find its way to the market”.

A Thursday report in Khaleej Times quoted Sultan bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of Dubai-based DP World and chairman of the the city’s Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, as saying that “people will eat, consume, sell and buy. This ensures that the Red Sea is a temporary issue.”

“People talk about vessels that are not going but not about vessels that are going. There are many vessels that are continuing (operations).”

Speaking at the annual event organised by Dubai Chambers, he also said: “Today, for example, to reach CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries, we can send goods from Pakistan. It takes eight days through amazing routes.”

Heat along the Red Sea: Pakistan’s exporters fret over shipments to EU, US

CIS is a confederation of countries that used to form the Soviet Union and include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

“We own many ports around the world so we have enough cargo to ship. These are alternatives. We need to invest more in the supply chain because this is the most undisruptive business,” Sulayem added.

He noted that “we have four ports in Red Sea – Djibouti, Somaliland, Egypt and Jeddah. There is still business going on. Naturally, there are disturbances and noises there but trade is resilient.”

Meanwhile, Abdul Aziz Abdulla Al Ghurair, chairman of Dubai Chambers, said trade and business will continue and UAE firms will find different routes to do business.

Red Sea trade disruption hits energy sector

“We hope this is a temporary issue and we hope this will be behind us soon and we will go back to usual trade,” Al Ghurair said during a media briefing.

He also predicted Dubai’s economy will grow by around 5 percent this year.

Last month, DP World signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with JW Holdings, a Pakistani conglomerate, to explore new Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and logistics development opportunities in Pakistan.

Under the MoU, both companies will collaborate on the development and operation of SEZs, state-of-the-art logistics parks, and other critical infrastructure projects across Pakistan.

On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar had met Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, following which Inter-Governmental Framework Agreements were signed between the Ministries of Communications, Railways and Maritime Affairs of Pakistan and the Government of Dubai, represented by DP World.

The agreements covered potential opportunities in Pakistan for the development of a dedicated freight corridor, multi-modal logistics park and rail freight terminals on Pakistan’s railway network, as well as, inter alia, the development of coastal economic zone and dredging works of navigation channels at Port Qasim.

Kakar had expressed satisfaction at the growth of exchanges, interaction and cooperation between businesses in Pakistan and UAE and highlighted their transformative potential.

He welcomed DP World’s interest in expanding its Pakistan business and assured the company of the government’s continued support.


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Raj Feb 23, 2024 06:26pm
He has a good sense of humor:) India unlikely to entertain any transit trade thru Pakistan.
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Mekal Faruki Feb 23, 2024 09:13pm
China Pakistan road and rail links from China to Gwadar are the future trade corridor between China, the Middle East and developing markets in Africa.
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