World Logistics Passport continues to expand globally

Dubai - Initiative launched under the directives of Mohammed bin Rashid a year ago at WEF in Davos grows into global network of trade megahubs from 11 nations; India, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Colombia and South Africa among the nations that have signed on to the World Logistics Passport

The WLP allows traders and freight forwarders to access benefits in return for increased trade in each of the programme’s hubs. — File photo
The WLP allows traders and freight forwarders to access benefits in return for increased trade in each of the programme’s hubs. — File photo

By Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Sat 20 Mar 2021, 5:33 PM

Last updated: Sat 20 Mar 2021, 10:00 PM

The World Logistics Passport (WLP) has gained popularity and attracted more nations across the world to foster global trade cooperation, says a report.

The initiative, launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos a year ago, has increased to 11 strategically located nations and still expanding to other global network of trade megahubs in East and West. India, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Colombia and South Africa among the countries that have signed on to the World Logistics Passport so far.

The World Logistics Passport (WLP), the first ever global freight loyalty programme launched under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the World Economic Forum in Davos last year to increase opportunities for trade between emerging markets.

Major move reflecting UAE’s vision

Sheikh Mohammed said the World Logistics Passport is yet another major initiative that reflects the UAE’s vision to shape a brighter future for “our world through innovative programmes that foster global trade cooperation”.

“In just one year, we have taken the WLP from vision to reality, bringing together a number of leading nations, logistics partners and multinational corporations in a close-knit alliance focused on trade growth. The WLP demonstrates once again the UAE’s keenness to work together with other nations to enhance prosperity and expand growth opportunities for businesses at a time when global markets are seeking to renew their momentum for growth,” he said.

Sheikh Mohammed said the UAE continues to work with its partners to introduce new initiatives that stimulate trade growth regionally and globally, leveraging its vast expertise in facilitating global trade and its capabilities and experience gained over the years to explore expanded opportunities and create new economic value.

The WLP allows traders and freight forwarders to access benefits in return for increased trade in each of the programme’s hubs. By connecting into the WLP network of fast-growing economies, member businesses have the opportunity to diversify into new markets such as Latin America, South Asia or Africa while shoring up their regional connectivity.

“We are very proud that Dubai has been at the centre of this exciting and novel initiative. The WLP reinforces Dubai’s growing status as a major global hub for multimodal trade while connecting other nations with similar aspirations in order to drive global trade and economic recovery,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman and CEO of the Emirates Group and Chair of the World Logistics Passport Global Steering Group.

Growing popularity among MNCs

Top government officials, analysts, and experts said that the platform is designed to standardise and simplify processes, uniform data, boost trade efficiency, reduce trade costs and hyper-connect governmental entities with logistics hubs. They said that the UAE's logistics markets have benefitted from huge investments in infrastructure, with industry estimates putting its size at $30 billion.

Many major multinational corporations, including UPS, Pfizer, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, and LG have already registered as WLP members. The network offers over a hundred operational and financial benefits to high-performing businesses

For governments, the WLP promises improved competitiveness and economic resilience during a time when global markets are seeking to accelerate recovery amidst unprecedented uncertainty in the face of Covid-19 and its implications for global trade.

By reducing costs and increasing the efficiency of the logistics value chain, the WLP is helping firms to remain internationally competitive. Beyond the boost to headline trade figures, the WLP will have knock-on effects for the wider economy through the creation of high-quality jobs and enhanced investment.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman of Dubai's Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation which oversees the WLP, said the rapid development of the WLP demonstrates the world class capabilities that Dubai has developed in the area of trade and logistics, led by key partners such as DP World, Emirates Group and Dubai Customs.

“These capabilities can be extended to support not only Dubai but also the wider WLP network of trading nations.”

Strong demand in emerging markets

Sultan Al Mansoori, former Minister of Economy of the UAE and board director at both the Investment Corporation of Dubai and DP World, said the rapid and continued expansion of the World Logistics Passport demonstrates the strong demand in emerging markets for new trading routes and best in class trade logistics.

“The WLP also represents a unique opportunity to strengthen trading ties with our Southern neighbours,” he said.

The progress of the WLP network will be showcased during the inaugural World Logistics Passport e-Summit in May. Tagged “the Davos of Freight”, the e-Summit will see the meeting of government ministers, global policy makers, and business leaders to discuss the future of global freight and logistics across two virtual sessions.

Mike Bhaskaran, CEO of the World Logistics Passport, said: “ Since its launch, the World Logistics Passport has been welcomed by governments and business around the world for the numerous benefits it delivers to local economies, traders and homegrown business. It is a great example of a public — private partnership delivering impact.”

Shailesh Dash, a Dubai-based entrepreneur and financier, described the World Logistics Passport as another innovative landmark by Dubai.

“The initiative has further strengthened Dubai position as a global trade hub. Dubai is not only eyeing to be the link between Asia, Europe and Africa but is also taking the right steps to serve South America,” he said.

"Dubai's high-quality infrastructure, data-driven processes and technology and its ability to provide a win-win solution for all trade partners perfectly positions the Emirate to emerge as a prominent logistics hub," Dash added.

Saad Maniar, senior partner at Crowe in UAE, said Dubai has always been the hub for trade and logistics and have been the key driver for the economy.

"The World Logistics Passport will further fuel economic growth and will support the nearby countries in increasing the efficiency and their reach," Maniar told Khaleej Times on Saturday.


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