Dubai-based DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, is exploring logistics opportunities and the development of industrial parks in Panama.
Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Group chairman and CEO, met with the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, to explore opportunities relating to the expanded Panama Canal.
The meeting was also attended by Roberto R Roy, Minister for Canal Affairs and Augusto R Arosemena, Minister of Commerce and Industry and other senior officials from the Panamanian government, a statement said.
Bin Sulayem stressed the importance of the Americas to DP World and outlined how its operations in the region from Latin America to the Dominican Republic and Canada are supporting economies and facilitating trade.
He said: “Panama is central to the development of trade in the region and a vital artery for commerce – serving surrounding nations and connecting oceans. Its role as an enabler of trade is key to the development of commerce and economies in the region as well as providing a major global trade route.
“The expanded Panama Canal has boosted capability to handle increased cargo and larger vessels so the development of logistics and locations for business to take advantage of its increased capabilities are important for the government there.
“Our international experience of developing and connecting marine and inland terminals with logistics centres, industrial parks and freezones is something we are exporting around the world and our discussions focused on how we could contribute to the development of the economy and support the business community.”
Arosemena will visit Dubai on Sunday to experience first-hand the model of Jebel Ali port and free zone and to further discuss potential opportunities.
Trade between Dubai and Panama reached over AED77 million in 2016 compared to AED71.5 million in 2015.
DP World said earlier this week that it is optimistic about growth in emerging markets, undeterred by US President Donald Trump’s pursuit of protectionist trade policies.
The company’s chairman said he expects growth in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
DP World will spend $1.2 billion this year, adding capacity at its flagship Jebel Ali port in Dubai and in ports in China, Senegal, Somaliland, Canada and the United Kingdom.
It will also expand in Ecuador, where it won a 50-year concession last year to develop a port in the country’s south-west, Bin Sulayem said.