The World Logistics Passport (WLP), a major policy initiative established by Dubai to increase trading opportunities between emerging markets has announced India, Indonesia and South Africa as members. They join Colombia, Senegal, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Uruguay and the UAE in a club of trading nations sharing expertise to smooth trade flows around the world.

The WLP creates opportunities for business across Africa, Asia, Central and South America to improve existing trading routes and develop new ones through the world’s first logistics loyalty program for freight forwarders and traders. It overcomes non-tariff trade barriers by fast-tracking cargo movement, reducing administrative costs, advancing cargo information and facilitating movement between ports and air.

Take, for instance, the cargo journey from Jakarta to Johannesburg — transporting high-value, low-weight goods through historically established transport routes in Europe takes considerably longer, and is therefore more expensive — but if the goods pass through Dubai through the WLP, traders can expect to save 25% on freight costs and 10% on transit time moving goods from Indonesia to South Africa.

The WLP has a proven track record. In Dubai, 12 local providers have confirmed more than 50 benefits which have in turn been applied to over 300 traders, accounting for approximately 50% of the emirate’s trade. Since its inception in 2019 — as part of Dubai’s Silk Road strategy to position the emirate of Dubai at the centre of new trade corridors running East and West — the WLP has generated more than AED 3 billion in total trade.

India has become the largest economy to join the WLP to date

The WLP now counts Mumbai International Airport (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport), Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal (Mumbai), and Emirates SkyCargo in India as well as Nepal as partners.

As a trade enhancing policy initiative, the WLP is closely aligned with the Strategy for India@75 in its aims to boost national competitiveness, increase the efficiency of India’s logistics sector and build tighter economic integration with emerging economies in South and South East Asia.

The WLP now looks forward to welcoming the participation of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry to represent the government’s oversight of local operations, and the CBIC (Customs) as a partner, as well as other regional organisations.

Rizwan Soomar, CEO and MD- Indian subcontinent, DP World said, “As more partners join the World Logistics Passport network in India, the opportunities to reimagine how trade moves from Asia to Africa and Latin America multiply. It is a win-win for business as they join a network of fast-growing mega-hubs around the world which, in turn, will help boost their trade flows.”

Mike Bhaskaran, CEO of the World Logistics Passport said, “The World Logistics Passport increases resilience in global supply chains and removes the barriers that prevent developing economies from trading as freely as they might, which is more important than ever as governments around the world seek to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.”

“This announcement shows that governments and businesses are thinking differently about how goods and services move round the world, and we are delighted to welcome India, Indonesia and South Africa to the club,” he added.

South Africa signs up to spur intra-regional trade opportunities

The WLP programme is closely aligned with South African National Development Plan 2030, particularly in terms of increasing intra-regional trade and improving trade penetration into fast growing markets in Asia and Latin America.

The Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce has signed a framework agreement with the WLP and bilateral negotiations with the government continue. Joining the WLP will be a key enabler of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, opening up new market potential among countries in the region.

South Africa has joined the WLP at a time where the country, and broader region, seeks to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. The WLP will help to achieve the goals in the Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, boosting job creation and supporting export-led growth.

Indonesia the first Southeast Asian nation to join

Indonesia is a strategically important market for the WLP, as it represents a region key to the WLP concept for its fast economic growth driven by manufacturing exports.

The WLP will compliment and reinforce the headline aims of the final stage of the Long-Term National Development Plan (RPJPN), specifically in terms of boosting national competitiveness and higher-wage job creation across all of Indonesia’s varied geographies.

The WLP now counts the Indonesia National Shippers’ Council as a partner, which will provide benefits related to navigating the local market. Last year, the Indonesia National Shippers’ Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding with PCFC in Dubai to realise trade cooperation, thus the registration can be seen as an evolution of an already entrenched and fruitful partnership.

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