Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World has unveiled plans to develop Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah port in support of the Saudi Vision 2030.
Bin Sulayem was speaking at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh on a panel discussion entitled ‘Dynamic Economies: What are the new ways to solve diversification?’
He outlined the significance of Jeddah Port as a gateway port for the Saudi market and for the region, connecting to major markets in Africa and the Middle East, and pointed out that its role as a trade hub could be further boosted by DP World’s vision for its development over the next 30 years.
"The Saudi Vision 2030 will also play a pivotal role in changing the economic landscape of the kingdom, wider region and the world," said Bin Sulayem, citing the major announcement of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz to build a new $500-billion mega project called Neom spanning three countries - Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.
He commended the visionary project and highlighted how DP World’s plans for Jeddah support this grand scheme and will help to realise the potential for economic growth owing to its geographical proximity to major markets and trade routes – 10 per cent of world trade will pass through Neom, while spurring innovations in the fields of technology, communications and renewable energy.
"As the first major investor in Jeddah port for almost 20 years now, we are committed to supporting the kingdom’s effort to leverage its resources and investment capabilities through the development of Jeddah port," remarked Bin Sulayem.
"Our plans involve increasing efficiencies using innovative tech solutions and making it a semi-automated facility to create skilled jobs for Saudi nationals, transforming the port to an important gateway to markets serving 500 million people which will make the Kingdom’s ports and logistics services a necessity and not a choice for global trade markets, particularly the Red Sea, which is the blood line of global trade," he noted.
"Jeddah Port is pivotal in facilitating the movement of goods between east and west, and in boosting Saudi exports," he added.
Bin Sulayem said DP World's proposals were designed at boosting efficiency by enabling local businesses, opening new avenues for growth while supporting the government in achieving the Saudi Vision 2030.
"This is part of our role as partners – to add value to nations and to deliver sustainable solutions for the benefit of all," he noted.
He pointed out that trade and infrastructure were key pillars in diversifying economies supported by technology and automation as seen at its Jebel Ali Port and Freezone, which together contribute to over 20 per cent of Dubai’s GDP.
"Logistics corridors are another way of making life easier for business. While access to data through digital technology and transparent information are also essential in building governance," he stated.
Bin Sulayem said the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s strong historic relations were underlined by the clear vision of its great leaders who have planned a bright future for their people based on solid economic foundations.
DP World, he stated, operates the South Container Terminal (SCT) at Jeddah Islamic Port, a crucial link in the world’s busy east-west trade routes through the Red Sea and serving a major domestic cargo base in Saudi Arabia.
The port is the main import destination for the country, handling 59 per cent of its imports by sea and serving main commercial centres.