DP World Ltd., the Dubai-based port operator that manages terminals from Hong Kong to Peru, and India’s National Investment & Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) plan to jointly invest up to US$3 billion in the South Asian nation, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, disclosed at the sixth World Government Summit (WGS 2018) in Dubai.
During a panel discussion titled ‘Smart Trade, Transport and Logistics Solutions’, moderated by CNN’s Richard Quest, Bin Sulayem expressed optimism at India’s pace of progress. He said: “One of the problems that we currently face is in the last-mile delivery of cargo to the customer. However, we are looking at alternative ways of transporting cargo, such as inland waterways. India has an extensive network of rivers – we are building special vessels that can navigate these waterways.”
Echoing this sentiment, Sujoy Bose, CEO of NIIF, said: “55-60 percent of Indian cargo currently moves by road, and only 5-10 percent is marine cargo. The inland waterways project, which the World Bank has invested in, is picking up steam and will be a gamechanger for the logistics industry.”
Speaking about the joint investment between NIIF and DP World, he said: “We are creating a platform that will offer customers an efficient way to transport cargo. We are investing substantial capital into this project and combining it with global expertise to develop world-class facilities.”
Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion at India’s Ministry of Commerce & Industry, also noted that the Indian government is investing heavily in infrastructure, which will drive growth in the logistics industry. He said: “Earlier, there was no direct port delivery, whereas today 33 percent of containers have direct port delivery, and 77 percent of containers are given direct entry for exporters. We want to increase this figure to 100 percent.”
The World Government Summit 2018 convenes more than 4,000 participants from 140 countries, including heads of state and governments, as well as top-tier representatives of 16 international organizations. Hosting more than 130 speakers across 120 interactive sessions, WGS 2018 features six distinct forums that examine the challenges of vital sectors for the future with a view to finding the best resolutions for the greater global good. Furthermore, over 20 specialized global reports spanning key sectors and topics of the summit will be launched throughout the duration of the event.