Trade Pulse Issue 10

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TRADE PULSE ISSUE 10

CHARTING A NEW COURSE FOR GLOBAL TRADE


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H.E. FALAH MOHAMMAD AL AHBABI Chairman

BUILDING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR A SMART INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION In June, AD Ports Group hosted the launch of the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy at KIZAD, in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). Our Chairman, H.E. Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, reflects on the remarkable ambition that supports this new strategy, and the bright future it offers for the next generation. One of the great strengths of the United Arab Emirates throughout our history has been our capacity to envisage bold new directions and to pursue them fearlessly. Under the wise guidance of our leaders, we have carved new paths in education, cultural development and even space exploration.

The Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy embodies this spirit of national resolution. It recognises the need to move beyond the oil era to build the framework of a new economy that will deliver sustainable growth for our children for the next 50 years and beyond. At the highest level, we are

building a circular economy, a new model of economic organisation that will be the envy of the world. Rather than the old industrial model, which used resources in a ‘take, make, and waste’ manner, a circular economy shifts towards renewable energy, and aims for the elimination of waste


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through the superior design of materials, products, systems, and business models. The Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy starts from a strategic review and understanding of the current strengths of the UAE economy. It looks to leverage these strengths to develop industrial sectors where we will have a distinct competitive advantage, and which aligns with the objectives of the circular economy. It aims to increase the size of and level of investment in the industrial sector, and to ensure that this investment creates a parallel rise in the number of high-quality knowledge-based jobs for UAE nationals. It looks to drive economic growth at the same time as managing national resources effectively and supporting the environment. For example, if you look at manufacturing transportation, which is one of the industries selected as a priority for future investment, the UAE already has significant advantages in this area because of our historic development of infrastructure and services. AD Ports Group has created the platform necessary for manufacturers to thrive in today’s competitive market. There are already more than 1,500 investors in our economic cities and free zones. Strategically situated midway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai and offering 25 major shipping lines direct links to over 70 international destinations, Khalifa Port is a deep-water multipurpose port that provides an ideal hub. It is fully integrated with KIZAD, the largest integrated trade, logistics, and industrial hub in the region. In this way, we have provided all the facilities necessary for manufacturing companies that are looking to establish operations within Abu Dhabi, or to use the Emirate as a

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distribution hub for the wider region. They are supported in turn by the modern investment environment and distinct policies that have boosted the ease of doing business for local and international investors. Working together, government and the key organisations have created an exceptional support system that has enhanced Abu Dhabi’s attractiveness as a hub for industry and manufacturing. Beyond boosting investment, the promotion of priority industrial sectors will support wider national strategic goals. Take, for example, the food manufacturing sector. Recent events – such as global conflicts and climate change – have demonstrated the importance of food security to the nation. The UAE has the capital and increasingly the technology to manufacture more of its food within its borders. Indeed, AD Ports Group is currently building one of the region’s largest food trading and logistics centres at KIZAD. The Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy will build upon this infrastructure to take food manufacturing to the next level. The same is true of pharmaceuticals and life sciences. Historically, the UAE has been reliant upon international manufacturers for key medicines. However, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the risks of such a dependence, and also highlighted the UAE’s tremendous progress in this area. With world-class healthcare infrastructure and a strong regulatory framework, the UAE now has the capacity to become a leader in life sciences. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, AD Ports Group commissioned 19,000 m2 of cold storage warehouse space,

capable of storing more than 120 million COVID-19 vaccines. In 2022, we are expanding cold storage infrastructure more than four-fold to support further growth. So, there are tremendous grounds for optimism as we roll-out the new Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy. We have the vision, the resources, and the knowledge to place the UAE at the heart of many of the world’s most dynamic and important industries. Working together, I am confident we will make this happen.

“The Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy starts from a strategic review and understanding of the current strengths of the UAE economy. It looks to leverage these strengths to develop industrial sectors where we will have a distinct competitive advantage, and which aligns with the objectives of the circular economy.”


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CAPTAIN MOHAMED JUMA AL SHAMISI Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group

CHARTING A NEW COURSE FOR GLOBAL TRADE At AD Ports Group, collaboration is at the heart of our success. To achieve our mission of positioning Abu Dhabi at the frontier of global trade, we strive to open opportunities for cross-border cooperation, and work with key organisations to build mutually beneficial partnerships. As part of that process, AD Ports Group looks to be a thought leader, championing innovation and encouraging the exchange of ideas. Our industry faces a broad range of challenges today, such as congestion on global supply chains and radically shifting trade patterns. Bold new approaches are necessary if we are to continue to deliver for our customers and our communities in the face of these adverse trends.

Historically, the port and maritime sectors have been slow in embracing innovation. The pace of digitalisation, for example, has lagged that of organisations in parallel industries, with many ports and shipping companies still too far behind in realising the potential of automation and artificial intelligence. AD Ports Group is looking to change that, by taking an ambitious approach to deploying cutting-edge technology. We have also taken the lead in the development of complementary business lines to drive revenue and provide a better customer experience. Our ongoing expansion into logistics, maritime services, economic cities, and free zones is made possible because of our openness to new ideas and new

partnerships. So how do we encourage thought leadership? One way is through our work in collaboration with government departments and business partners, under the guidance of our forward-thinking leadership, to share best practice and support new initiatives.

AED 10 Billion

Government Investment

For example, in June, we hosted the launch of the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy at KIZAD, which outlined plans to invest AED10 billion across six transformational programmes to more than double the size of Abu Dhabi’s manufacturing


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sector to AED172 billion by 2031. In addition, this year AD Ports Group has hosted and announced plans to host key meetings and roundtables on strategically important topics, such as the Port Authorities Roundtable, IAPH World Ports Conference, and

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World Union of Wholesale Markets Conference, all of which are detailed in this issue of Trade Pulse. We support these initiatives because we recognise the power of shared insight and cross-industry collaboration. All of us, working together,

“Our industry faces a broad range of challenges today. Bold new approaches are necessary if we are to continue to deliver for our customers and our communities.”

are stronger than any one organisation trying to solve industry issues alone. That is why we are so excited by the shift in momentum we are seeing across our industry and so optimistic about the bright future we are sailing towards.


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SUPPORTING THE LAUNCH OF A BOLD NEW INDUSTRIAL ERA AD Ports Group participated in the launch of the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy, which was held at KIZAD. The programme aims to more than double the size of Abu Dhabi’s manufacturing sector to AED 172 billion by 2031. In June, KIZAD played host to the launch of the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy, a major initiative to strengthen the emirate’s position as the region’s most competitive industrial hub. Held in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Abu Dhabi

National Oil Company (ADNOC) and announced by H.E. Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, it was a proud moment for the AD Ports Group family. Under the strategy, Abu Dhabi Government will invest AED 10 billion across six transformational programmes to more than double the size of Abu Dhabi’s manufacturing sector to AED 172 billion by


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2031 by increasing access to financing, enhancing ease of doing business, and attracting foreign direct investment. The strategy, via the six programmes, will also create 13,600 skilled jobs, with a focus on Emirati talent, and boost Abu Dhabi’s trade with international markets, with a goal to increase Abu Dhabi’s non-oil exports by 143 per cent to AED 178.8 billion by 2031. Multiple initiatives, including a new circular economy regulatory framework, as well as new green policies and incentives, will help continue Abu Dhabi’s transition towards a smart, circular economy, powered by an industrial sector that champions responsible production and consumption across waste management, parts supply, and manufacturing. H.E. Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, Chairman of AD Ports Group, said: “Building upon the UAE’s ambitions to develop and enact effective economic strategies that directly impact the growth of the local economy and advance its status as a leading player in international trade and industry, Abu Dhabi’s industrialisation strategy is a tremendous

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initiative that reflects our wise leadership’s promise towards achieving the sustainable transformation of our economy over the next decade. Leveraging the full potential of innovative technologies across the UAE’s industrial landscape, while also driving the development of a robust and diverse manufacturing sector, we will be able to realise the next stage of advancement for our national economy and elevate its position as a leading global industrial power. And while the global economy remains complex and disruptive, thanks to the strategic guidance of the UAE’s leadership, Abu Dhabi’s drive for industrialisation is aligning the emirate on an upward path that is bolstering non-oil GDP growth and at the same time facilitating a fast-growing, dynamic, and jobrich logistics and manufacturing ecosystem.” While enhancing sustainability across the ecosystem in line with the UAE Net Zero by 2050 and the National Climate Change Strategy, the manufacturing industry’s ongoing evolution will be accelerated by the integration of advanced Industry 4.0 technologies to spur growth, competitiveness and innovation.

“Abu Dhabi’s industrialisation strategy is a tremendous initiative that reflects our wise leadership’s promise towards achieving the sustainable transformation of our economy over the next decade.”


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REIMAGINING A NEW ERA OF TRADE AD Ports Group hosted the 7th edition of the Port Authorities Roundtable (PAR 2022) in Abu Dhabi in May, bringing delegates from around the world to discuss key issues and opportunities. AD Ports Group hosted the Port Authorities Roundtable 2022 in May, welcoming delegates from leading port authorities from around the world. Held for the first time here in the UAE and the Middle East region, the 7th edition brought together leading territories as diverse as Antwerp, Barcelona, Busan, Guangzhou, Iraq, Kobe, Ningbo, Oman, Rotterdam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Seattle, Singapore, and Shanghai to strengthen consensus and cooperation in the industry. The event was inaugurated by His Excellency Eng. Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, who joined as the guest of honour. During his speech, he emphasised the great importance that the UAE’s leadership has given to the crucial maritime sector. Although a

young nation, the UAE is a major driver of global trade growth, ranking third in transport services trade and the Bunker Supply Index and fifth as a competitive maritime hub. More than 27,000 maritime companies are based in the UAE, and the country’s ports rank among the top 10 globally. He also highlighted how the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure has been working closely with all industry stakeholders to strengthen the maritime regulatory framework in the UAE, enhancing human investment in the sector and improving the overall business environment. The event saw opening addresses from Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group, Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of


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Singapore and His Excellency Omar Talal Hariri, President, Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI). While welcoming the esteemed delegates to Abu Dhabi, Captain Shamisi said, “We are honoured to host the leaders of the global ports community here in Abu Dhabi to exchange industry best practices and build mutually beneficial partnerships. We believe we are entering an exciting new era for the maritime sector, providing we can all rise to the challenges.” “With its strategic position as a gateway to markets in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and its significant investments in ports infrastructure and technology, Abu Dhabi and the UAE are ideally positioned to engage new partners and customers as a major international trading hub,” he added. He appreciated how over the past two years, the ports industry overcame economic instability and bottlenecks within the supply chain, and platforms like PAR 2022 are vital for not just finding solutions for industry challenges but represent a key moment for progressive and productive dialogue on establishing actionable roadmaps for the future growth of the maritime trade and logistics industry. On his part, His Excellency Omar Talal Hariri, President, Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI), shared how Saudi Arabia is accelerating the adoption of next-generation technologies such as IoT, AI and Blockchain at the Kingdom’s ports for digitalisation of the supply chain and creation of a national single window front-end for the logistics sector. He also shed light on the recently launched smart ports initiative that aims to automate port operations, contribute to clean energy adoption, and position the country as a global logistics hub.

“With its strategic position as a gateway to markets in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and its significant investments in ports infrastructure and technology, Abu Dhabi and the UAE are ideally positioned to engage new partners and customers as a major international trading hub.”

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Examining Key Themes Under the theme, ‘Reimagining a New Era of Trade Together’, global port authorities in attendance shared their success stories first-hand and shed light on important lessons learned across the PAR guiding topics of Disruption, Digitalisation, Decarbonisation, and Diversification within the ports industry. As part of the Disruption theme, a panel of experts examined the role of ports in enabling global supply chain resilience and connectivity, reviewing the work done to date for risk management preparedness and the lessons learned from resolving the bottlenecks caused by COVID-19 and recent global turbulence. In the digitalisation discussion, different port authorities showcased how stateof-the-art digital platforms were enabling them to optimise shipping and port operations to reduce emissions and integrate energy systems. Clean energy was one of the main topics within the Decarbonisation stream. Several of the ports in attendance outlined their work in developing the infrastructure required to switch from fuel oil to liquefied natural gas or even hydrogen for ships in the future, as well as carbon capture and sequestration initiatives. According to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), shipping currently accounts for around 3 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. More than half of maritime emissions come from ships berthed in ports, so ports and their surrounding environs could make a significant contribution to global environmental goals. The diversification session focused on the evolving role of ports as facilitators of global trade and how port authorities can better support and enable growth across ports. The session reverberated the need to create an enabling environment to enhance global competitiveness and contribute to economic growth. In addition to high-level discussions, PAR 2022 also provided an opportunity for cross-border collaboration to strengthen the industry’s resilience and efficiency, working towards a reimagined world of trade.


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THE PERSPECTIVE FROM SINGAPORE During a break at the Port Authorities Roundtable, we sat with Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, to hear how ports in Asia are dealing with supply chain squeezes, and discuss the key priorities for the industry moving forward.

MS QUAH LEY HOON Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

How do you feel this year’s Port Authority Roundtable has gone? This has been a very successful roundtable. It is really important for us to come up with ideas, especially in the areas of decarbonisation and digitalisation. There are a lot of question marks now when it comes to global trade, global shipping and global maritime, and I hope that through this roundtable we are able to move forward. Over the past two years, the pandemic has accentuated the issue of global supply chain resilience and has highlighted some key areas that will be essential to ensuring that ports remain open moving forwards. What do you see as the key challenges for digitalisation within the industry?

Data harmonisation is essential, in terms of protocol and standards when ships move from one country to another and specifically looking at how we facilitate that. The solution here lies in the digitalisation trend, and with at least eighteen touch points for goods to move from a factory to their destination, ensuring a successful digital transition is not just down to the port authorities. A priority is looking at how we can enhance data harmonisation in terms of port clearance at an IMO level, but we also need to talk to cargo owners and customs around the world to explore how to form maritime single windows from both port and cargo clearance levels. There was a lot of discussion around clean energy during the sessions. How is the industry doing in terms of adopting a broader portfolio of energy sources? The future of ships is a big question that we are facing in the industry. Specifically, what should they be running in terms of fuel – should it be on oil, bio, or LNG which we have started in a small scale. Or should we move towards methanol, ethanol, methane, ammonia, or green hydrogen? These are key questions for

the shipping industry and the port authorities in tackling the energy transition, and it’s important that we work together with the shipping industry to form a value chain ecosystem when it comes to the classification, insurance, financing, and standards of these solutions. We need to get together not just among the port authorities but as an ecosystem to see how to make this work. Is the industry doing enough in terms of discovering new talent? We need to attract more talent in the industry. Shipping is a sector which is not so visible when compared to the likes of aviation or transport for example, so we need to do a better job in profiling ourselves and get better talent to work with us, especially in new emerging areas such as energy specialists or data analysis, for example. We need to attract more such people so we can shift and transform the industry to the next level.


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“A priority is looking at how we can enhance data harmonisation in terms of port clearance at an IMO level, but we also need to talk to cargo owners and customs around the world to explore how to form maritime single windows from both port and cargo clearance levels”


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PLANNING THE PORTS OF THE FUTURE As ports recover from the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, we asked senior executives from some of the busiest hubs in the world, “What are the major trends shaping the ports industry today?”

“The current issue is that petroleumbased energy must give way to alternative energy sources. The biggest challenge is that we are simultaneously addressing the current inflation relating to energy prices whilst at the same time addressing the decarbonisation of the maritime industry.”

a degree that we have not seen for the last four of five decades. The last real disruptive development to supply chains was the introduction of the container in the sixties, and digitalisation will have a similar level of impact.

MR RENE VAN DER PLAS, DIRECTOR Port of Rotterdam International, Netherlands

In the current market conditions, supply chain resiliency is most important because of the disruptions that we are facing following the COVID pandemic, which has shown that as an industry we really are very vulnerable. This is particularly evident with the bottlenecks that ports are now facing, and we consider digitalisation as one of the crucial developments to tackle this. If you have accurate information, and if you have good data exchange, it will be far easier for operators, shipping lines and for shippers to make informed decisions on what to do and how to act against such circumstances. The industry really is entering a new era with digitalisation, to

MR STEPHEN P. METRUCK Executive Director, Port of Seattle, USA

Coming out of the pandemic, of course the focus is on the supply chain disruption in general that we faced, but for us this focus has much to do with exploring the energy transition and looking at the whole supply chain to make it more efficient. This covers the cargo owners, the ports and shipping lines themselves. The current issue is that petroleum-based energy must give way to alternative energy


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sources. The biggest challenge is that we are simultaneously addressing the current inflation relating to energy prices whilst at the same time addressing the need to develop and deploy the decarbonisation of the maritime industry, which gives the transition an even steeper and more complex curve. We also need to look at the workforce of the future. In the United States a large part of the maritime workforce is getting ready to retire and we don’t have the replacement workforce coming in behind them. We need to have a workforce that is qualified and a workforce that is diverse coming forward, which will set us up for success for the continuation of the maritime industry. What needs to be looked at here is that even though the maritime industry has very wellpaying occupations, there’s a lot of different demands for what the younger generation want to do

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which I think needs to be explored for us to market the industry accordingly.

MR OTHMAN AL KHOURI Executive Director - Corporate Authority, AD Ports Group

One of the most interesting challenges highlighted at the Port Authorities Roundtable was that of diversification. Essentially, there are crucial infrastructure

investments that ports need to make to stay competitive, such as expanding capacity, improving logistics services or making the switch to a portfolio of clean energy services. However, in order to do that, ports need to raise finances for investment. It’s difficult to do that from your existing business, by passing on costs to existing customers, because globally ports are in a very inflationary environment. So, ports are having to diversify their revenue base, by introducing new business lines or expanding into new areas. It is reassuring that AD Ports Group has taken such a strong lead in diversification, both in terms of services with our dedicated business clusters and our international expansion into new markets. It demonstrates that AD Ports Group is ahead of the curve in terms of recognising where the next range of challenges and opportunities will be coming from.


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ABU DHABI TO SERVE AS HOST CITY FOR IAPH 2023 IAPH 2023 to feature a host of focus sessions, workshops, and discussion panels covering leading trends and disruptive industry challenges. Gathering in Vancouver for the first time live-inperson since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, IAPH 2022 saw the world’s leading port authorities come together to discuss the latest developments across the global maritime industry. Touching upon the various disrupting elements impacting ports and maritime supply chains around the world, the discussions at this year’s reputed industry event covered everything from supply chain resilience to port innovation, as well as novel solutions for accelerating the movement of international cargo. At the conclusion of IAPH 2022, it was announced that Abu Dhabi would, for the first time, serve as the host city for the 2023 edition of the reputed maritime industry event. Featuring a host of focus sessions, workshops, and discussion panels, IAPH 2023 will cover several topics around leading trends and challenges impacting the industry. Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group, said: “AD Ports Group is proud to welcome leading port operators from across the globe and to provide them with a unique platform that will see the exchange of ideas and the forging of novel

partnerships aimed at tackling the industry’s pressing challenges and future opportunities.”

“AD Ports Group is proud to welcome leading port operators from across the globe.”


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NEW PORT PROJECTS IN EGYPT Agreements focus on joint development of multipurpose terminal in Safaga Port and management of cruise ship berths along Red Sea coast. AD Ports Group and the Red Sea Ports Authority have signed a Term Sheet and a Head of Terms agreement for major port projects along Egypt’s coastline. The first agreement will see AD Ports Group develop, operate, and manage a multipurpose terminal in Safaga Port in a consortium with the Red Sea Ports Authority and the Egyptian Group for Multipurpose Terminals Company, the commercial arm of the Egyptian Ministry of Transportation. The multi-purpose terminal project in Safaga Port is an important national project due to its strategic location on the Red Sea. Upon completion in 2024, the terminal will offer berths of up to 1,000 meters capable of handling all types of general, dry and liquid bulk cargo. His Excellency LieutenantGeneral Eng. Kamel El-Wazir, Minister of Transport said: “These agreements are in line with the directions of His Excellency Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, aiming to make Egypt a global trade and logistics hub through the development of Egyptian ports at the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea coasts, and the constructive cooperation between Egyptian and UAE ports.” Capt. Mohamed Juma Al

Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group, said: “In line with our leadership’s vision to promote cooperation with fraternal Arab neighbours, we are pleased to extend our strategic relationship with the Egyptian authorities through these agreements, which cover a full range of services across multiple ports along the Red Sea coast.” The second agreement covers the development, operation, and management of cruise ship berths and terminals at Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and Safaga ports, to provide support services to help extend cruise tourism in Egypt. In addition, AD Ports Group will develop plans for cruise ships lines linking Abu Dhabi, Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh and Aqaba. Under the terms of the agreement, AD Ports Group can carry out development work to enhance the experience of visiting tourists.


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AD PORTS GROUP’S KHALIFA PORT SECURES TOP FIVE SPOT ON CPPI RANKING The Group’s flagship, deep-water port was recognised for its innovative application of digital technology and green fuel alternatives. For the first time in its history, AD Ports Group’s flagship deep-water port, Khalifa Port, has been ranked amongst the top five of the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Container Port Performance Index (CPPI). Evaluated during a period that saw unparalleled port congestion and disruption to global supply chains as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, Khalifa Port was recognised for its innovative application of digital technology and green fuel alternatives that in turn enhanced port operators and ensured maritime supply chains resiliency. This year’s iteration of the Container Port Performance Index, which is based on the time vessels need to spend in port to complete workloads, also noted that four of the five most efficient ports on the ranking are based in the Middle East. In addition to Khalifa Port, these comprised Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Port, Port Salalah in Oman, and Hamad Port in Qatar. Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group, said: “This ranking is another indicator of the high levels of performance that customers are receiving

at Khalifa Port, with the full support of AD Ports Group’s integrated business clusters. We have recognised the pressure that global supply chains are under and have worked hard to create efficiencies and new synergies in every area.”

“We have recognised the pressure that global supply chains are under and have worked hard to create efficiencies and new synergies in every area.”


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LAUNCHING A VIRTUAL TRADE CORRIDOR WITH KUWAIT Collaboration between AD Ports Group and Kuwait General Administration of Customs will further facilitate cross-border trade. AD Ports Group has signed a Memorandum of Understand (MoU) with the Kuwait General Administration of Customs to establish a new virtual trade corridor between the UAE and Kuwait, under the supervision of Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi (ADDED). The signing took place in Kuwait following a visit by DED’s Logistics Committee, in presence of His Excellency Abdulwahab Mohammed Al-Rushaid, Finance Minister - Kuwait and

His Excellency Dr. Matar Hamed Al Neyadi, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Kuwait, and was signed by Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO of AD Ports Group, and Suleiman AbdulAziz Al-Fahd, Director of the General Administration of Customs – Kuwait. Under its terms, Maqta Gateway, AD Ports Group’s digital arm will develop the new virtual trade corridor based upon its Advanced Trade


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& Logistics Platform (ATLP), establishing new policies, procedures, and systems integrations to support a virtual trade corridor that will further simplify and facilitate cross-border trade. With the establishment of the new virtual trade corridor and implementation of integrated solutions, customs authorities in both countries will be able to access pre-arrival information for international cargo movements, making crossvalidation of information significantly faster and promoting pre-clearance of goods. The MoU will also provide for accelerated procedures for expediting shipments of perishable goods, reducing dwell time at borders. The digital integration also has significant safety and security benefits, improving visibility for authorities over any possible risks associated with goods that move between the two nations, as well as reducing the inspection rate and simplifying procedures for authorisation holders. His Excellency Dr. Matar Hamed Al Neyadi, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to

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Kuwait, said: “The UAE and Kuwait have a vast cooperation opportunity as they both have exceptionally promising markets. We are confident that the cooperation between AD Ports Group and Kuwait General Administration of Customs to establish the first virtual trade corridor between The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, will enhance trade exchange between the two countries, and will support their efforts in achieving digital transformation goals, streamlining shipping procedures to reduce transportation and shipping costs, as well as expanding economic cooperation, facilitating the development of the supply chains, and encouraging business investment, by building on the best digital solutions and logistics services provided by the virtual trade corridor.” Rashid Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, Undersecretary, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, Chairman of the Higher Committee of Logistics Development, said: “This MoU sets the stage for deeper cooperation with our trade partners. By establishing this virtual trade corridor, we will generate positive impact on the UAE and Kuwaiti economies and support the wider efforts of our wise leadership to promote trade and fraternal bonds between our nations, establishing Abu Dhabi as a leading trade and logistics hub in the region.” Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri, CEO of Maqta Gateway, Head of the Digital Cluster, AD Ports Group, said: “Building upon the bilateral trade ties that have long existed between Kuwait and the UAE, the newly announced virtual trade corridor aims to realise a host of enhanced policies, procedures, and system integrations that will accelerate cross-border movements of goods traded between the two countries. “Since its founding, Maqta Gateway has committed its efforts towards advancing the digitalisation of the region’s trade, logistics, and industrial landscape through the implementation of novel solutions that are transforming industry. “By digitalising clearance and shipment delivery through this virtual trade corridor, we will be able to deliver real benefits for importers and exporters in Kuwait and the UAE, while simultaneously enhancing security and realising new levels of efficiency.” The long-standing bilateral trade ties enjoyed between the two GCC countries in recent years has seen the rapid growth of several key commodity markets. In 2021, the UAE imported more than two million tonnes of petroleum oil products valued at an estimated AED 3.79 billion from Kuwait, as well as 143,408 tonnes of petroleum coke and tar valued at AED 213 million.


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DR. NOURA AL DHAHERI Chief Executive Officer - Digital Cluster Chief Executive Officer - Maqta Gateway

Because of recent global challenges, companies and nations are working to ensure end-to-end visibility across supply chains. Effectively, with the development of technologies such as Internet of Things networks and blockchain, it is now possible to track goods from factory, to warehouse, to port and then on to the point of delivery to customers. Having access to this data would enable better management and responsiveness and support the optimisation of complex supply chains. This would provide greater resilience and flexibility against the impact of global pressures such as conflicts and pandemics. However, developing these ‘digital corridors’ requires more than just technology. It needs the creation of

common platforms to share non-commercially sensitive data and the promotion of data standardisation and interoperability, so that different systems can ‘speak’ to each other. In addition, it requires investment in data security to protect the data carried across supply chains from illegitimate access and cyberattacks. At AD Ports Group, Maqta Gateway has taken the lead in the creation of virtual trade corridors based upon our Advanced Trade & Logistics Platform (ATLP), to further simplify and facilitate crossborder trade. In March, we signed a MoU with the Kuwait General Administration of Customs to establish a new virtual trade corridor between the UAE and Kuwait, under the supervision of Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi (ADDED). With

the establishment of the new virtual trade corridor and implementation of integrated solutions, customs authorities in both countries will be able to access pre-arrival information for international cargo movements, making cross-validation of information significantly faster and promoting preclearance of goods. These projects are important because they demonstrate that, working with government and adjacent industries, we can support trusted, secure and seamless information flow across global supply chains.


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NEAR-SOURCING – A NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR THE UAE? The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed multiple vulnerabilities when it comes to the global production and trade of goods and has especially weakened the previously popular approach of serving global markets via one single, low-cost manufacturing base. With some supply chains coming to a complete stop at the peak of the crisis, which resulted in limited consumer access to products and caused businesses significant losses, many are reevaluating their approaches for organising the production and distribution of goods beyond the traditional model. As they develop long-term strategies to suit the endemic era, future-looking businesses want to have confidence that their value and supply chains can cope with any future economic or social turbulence. With a redirected focus on resiliency at the fore, nearsourcing is an increasingly attractive solution. An approach that strategically positions certain operations, such as manufacturing, based on geographical proximity to key markets as opposed to low labour costs, for example, near-sourcing reduces dependency on a single location and offers the opportunity to mitigate risk through shorter, more diverse, and more adaptable supply chains. “Shorter supply chains also mean shorter lead times,

an essential consideration following the COVID-19 impact on consumer behaviour,” explains Abdullah Al Hameli, Chief Executive Officer of Economic Cities & Free Zones Cluster (ECFZ). “In addition, with lower interest in physical retail and a shift toward e-commerce, demand for next-day deliveries on a greater range of products is more sought after and can be easily serviced by prioritizing distance to customers.” Strategically located at the crossroads between East and West, the UAE is already benefiting from the near-sourcing trend, with its attractiveness further strengthened by a prolonged period of investment in industrial capacity in the country, which aims to raise the industrial sector’s contribution to the GDP from AED 133 billion to AED 300 billion by 2031. Additionally, and complemented by several growing markets surrounding the UAE, such as food, life science, plastics and metals, the country is solidifying its position as the main gateway for global trade and investment under its ‘Projects of the 50’ initiative, which will drive the launch of new economic agreements with eight key global markets. Abu Dhabi, in particular, is already reaping the rewards of the near-sourcing trend, with global businesses moving into the capital to develop a regional base closer to new markets thanks to the holistic approach to trade taken by AD Ports Group.

While proximity outweighs the cost with near-sourcing, businesses still look to reduce the latter by partnering with integrated hubs, such as AD Ports Group’s KIZAD in Abu Dhabi, that serve research, manufacturing, and logistics needs from one location, bringing production closer to end-users via a ‘one-stop-shop’ solution. Located in the heart of the capital and designed to cater to all industry verticals for its clients, KIZAD features stateof-the-art infrastructure that covers the full value chain from processing and storage to distribution activities. The port-integrated industrial zone serves as a prime use-case for a modern near-sourcing offering that provides an ideal location for businesses looking to do more than simply streamline supply chains. Built upon strategic partnerships, sector-specific hubs in KIZAD are not only developed in line with worldclass best practices but promote a collaborative ecosystem. This allows the hub to evolve with the trends and demands of each industry served and offers crossbusiness collaboration for clients whether it be knowledge, raw materials, or technologybased. Additionally, when built around well-established sea, land, air and rail connections such as AD Ports Group’s deepwater Khalifa Port, or soon to come Etihad Rail, specialised


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regional hubs like KIZAD become even more valuable to businesses, going beyond to offer both efficiency and environmental benefits. As businesses look ahead to the endemic era, where future instability is at the core of supply-chain strategy, moving manufacturing and distribution operations closer to the enduser is increasingly considered as the key to mitigating potential disruption. Situated at the crossroads between East and West, and by following AD Ports Group’s holistic approach to trade, the UAE is in a prime position to not only welcome, but to accelerate a nearsourcing approach.

“KIZAD features stateof-the-art infrastructure that covers the full value chain from processing and storage to distribution activities”

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AD PORTS GROUP SUPPORTS THE ‘MAKE IT IN THE EMIRATES FORUM’ Forum aims to promote the growth of national industries and discuss opportunities for partnership and cooperation in the industrial sector. AD Ports Group took part in the ‘Make it in the Emirates Forum’ in June, a first of its kind event from the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), launched in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED). The two-day forum featured the participation of major local and international industrial companies, UAE government entities and financial institutions operating in the UAE. It aimed to promote the growth of national industries and discuss opportunities for partnership and cooperation in the industrial sector, in addition to presenting opportunities for product localisation, redirecting the value of purchases into the national economy, and leveraging local purchasing power to develop the industrial sector. Twelve national companies presented more than 300 products across 11 sectors for local production and procurement, supporting the UAE’s efforts to become a hub for global industries, and announced the provision of AED 110 billion of potential purchase agreements to existing and new partners. The eleven sectors include metals, petrochemicals, chemical industries, plastics,

machinery and equipment, defence industries, pharmaceutical industries, technology and medical equipment, communications, and agricultural technology. The over 300 new products introduced for local production will contribute over AED 6 billion to the

national GDP annually. As well as taking part in panel discussions, AD Ports Group gave a presentation on industrial growth opportunities in Abu Dhabi, highlighting the remarkable facilities available at KIZAD and through Economic Cities & Free Zones.


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JORDANIAN CONSORTIUM APPOINTED TO DEVELOP MARSA ZAYED MASTERPLAN Masterplan will cover a land area of 3.2 million sqm in Aqaba AD Ports Group has appointed a consortium of Jordan’s Dar Al Omran and Maisam Group to develop the masterplan for the Marsa Zayed mega-project in Aqaba, in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The appointment follows AD Ports Group’s signing of multiple agreements with the Aqaba Development Corporation in 2021 for the development of tourism, transport, logistics and digital infrastructure in the area, strengthening Aqaba’s status as a key regional tourism and business hub. The consortium of Jordan’s leading architectural consultants will develop the masterplan for a total land area of 3.2 million sqm across the Marsa Zayed site, which will consist of several districts comprising residential, retail, F&B, commercial and office space, hotel, and leisure areas. Abdullah Al Hameli, Chief Executive Officer - Economic Cities & Free Zones, AD Ports Group, said: “AD Ports Group lays great importance on developing the project in cooperation with leading local companies. The appointment of the consortium of market leaders Dar Al Omran and Maisam Group for the Marsa Zayed development is a manifestation of this philosophy. “As leading firms in the market, they each have the local expertise, on the ground experience, and a shared vision

of creating the ambitious projects necessary to drive Aqaba’s position as a major tourism and business destination in the region.” As part of the wider series of agreements between AD Ports Group and the Aqaba Development Corporation, the Marsa Zayed project will include a new state-of-the-art

cruise terminal in Aqaba. With its connected ecosystem, in addition to easy access from the south coast highway and close to the city centre, Marsa Zayed is set to become a prime location for local and international investors, looking to lease, own, or jointly develop serviced plots in the mixed-use and entertainment development.


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MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY VISITS KIZAD Economic Cities & Free Zones playing key part in UAE’s broader industrial strategy. In April, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, visited KIZAD as part of a series of tours to inspect the performance of industrial facilities in the country. Dr. Al Jaber was briefed on the development and growth plans of industrial projects, the opportunities for expansion and regional and global competitiveness, and the advantages for companies situated in KIZAD. He was also briefed on the efforts of The National Food Products Company, which is one of the largest companies in the region for the wholesale food trade and related logistics, along with the plans and operations of Al Tala Board Manufacturing Company, which operates the first factory of its kind in the world to produce high quality wood boards by recycling palm tree waste through innovative technologies. Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber said, “The Ministry’s efforts and work focuses on implementing the directives of the UAE’s leadership to enhance the role of the industrial sector in the growth of the national economy. Our strategy is based on creating value, innovation, sustainability and future foresight, and boosting competitiveness to establish the UAE as a global destination for industrial investments.

Today we are witnessing living examples and major developments in KIZAD and its ability to attract quality industrial investments. KIZAD provides a supportive environment for global industrial projects, which is a major tool for growth, development and prosperity.” He praised the vital role played by KIZAD as an integrated free zone for industry, commerce and logistics. It provides strategic access to regional and global markets with competitive operating costs and greater ease of doing business, providing a solid industrial base that attracts local and foreign investments.


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ABDULLAH AL HAMELI

Chief Executive Officer – Economic Cities & Free Zones Cluster

Set to maximize economic opportunities, the Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy is a tremendous initiative that echoes our wise leadership’s ambition to establish the emirate as a global centre for knowledge-based, sustainable, and innovationfocused industries. As one of Abu Dhabi’s key industrial facilitators, offering purpose-built economic hubs in the heart of the capital, AD Ports Group’s Economic Cities & Free Zones stands ready to develop new partnerships with the trade bodies, utilities companies, SMEs, and large enterprises as part of the Industrial Strategy. The mission to foster a vibrant industrial and commercial ecosystem is central to the port-connected industrial zones of KIZAD, where existing and planned

infrastructure will support the priority industrial sectors mapped out by the strategy. One such example lies with the development of one of the region’s largest food trading and logistics centres at KIZAD, which will enhance investment across the food processing sector. It will also guarantee access to effective supply chains, advanced quality control and safety measures, along with the adoption of sustainable solutions and practices. The Abu Dhabi Industrial Strategy will build upon this infrastructure to drive the food systems necessary for future growth and self-sufficiency. Also supporting one of the strategy’s priority industrial sectors is the development of a world-class automotive manufacturing and distribution hub in KIZAD, positioning the UAE as an essential part of evolving

global automotive and mobility supply chains. AD Ports Group has a long track record of investing in sustainability and strives to attract investments from businesses driving the sustainable manufacturing movement. With clients across sectors including metals, food, chemical and plastics, pharma, construction, and engineering, AD Ports Group is supporting the strategic vision of the leadership through a unique proposition that enables businesses to capitalise on a competitive business model, while also leveraging the full might of our integrated and digital, logistics and trade services, which helps grow their business and extend their reach across the region and beyond.


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AD PORTS GROUP & HAYAT BIOTECH SIGN MILESTONE AGREEMENT TO SUPPORT HAYAT’S GLOBAL EXPANSION The partnership to further international distribution of healthcare and vital pharmaceutical products AD Ports Group and Hayat Biotech have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support Hayat Biotech’s global logistics and distribution efforts through AD Ports Group’s advanced pharma logistics network, which includes its cold & ultra-cold pharma hub based in KIZAD. Specifically, the partnership will help facilitate Hayat Biotech’s efforts to set up manufacturing centres around the globe and provide logistics solutions to serve its international markets. The initial element of the agreement encapsulates shipping of strategic construction supplies, including containers, machinery, raw materials, and equipment, to support the construction of Hayat Biotech’s global biopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. Once fully completed, the facilities will produce a number of vital biopharmaceutical products, including the Hayat-Vax vaccine, the first indigenously produced COVID-19 vaccine in the UAE and the Arab world. As part of the collaboration, the distribution will be handled by the HOPE Consortium, an Abu Dhabi-led partnership which operates one of the largest and most complete end-to-end pharma supply chains on the market today.

Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO of AD Ports Group, and Chairman of the HOPE Consortium’s Executive Committee, said: “As a nation, the UAE continues to take significant steps towards enabling global access to pharmaceutical products and supplies. Thanks to our partnership with Hayat Biotech, we are cementing the pivotal role that AD Ports Group and the HOPE Consortium are playing in supporting our healthcare industry’s efforts to serve communities and markets all around the world.” He added: “AD Ports Group continues to deliver on our leadership’s vision of establishing Abu Dhabi as a global life sciences hub, and our partnership with Hayat Biotech is another important milestone along our journey towards achieving that goal.” Robert Sutton, CEO of Logistics Cluster, AD Ports Group, said: “We are pleased to leverage our complete endto-end logistics solutions, which cover everything from transportation and storage, to monitoring and delivery of pharma supplies, anywhere around the world. Capitalising on Abu Dhabi’s strategic position as a global gateway, we are working together to help

position the Emirate as a leading global logistics hub for the life sciences sector.” Naser Al Yammahi, Deputy CEO, Hayat Biotech, said: “The world is facing fundamental challenges that are affecting our wellbeing, health, and quality of life; therefore, we made it our responsibility to deliver innovative biotechnological capabilities around the globe. Thanks to the partnership with AD Ports Group, we are looking to further expand our distribution network to deliver necessary biopharmaceutical products to improve the health of our nation and across the globe.” As a UAE-based company, Hayat Biotech, a Joint Venture between Abu Dhabi’s G42 and Sinopharm CNBG, focuses on the development of life sciences through advanced clinical trials, medical R&D, distribution of new pharmaceutical products, and vaccines. The company began locally-producing the Hayat-Vax vaccine in March 2021, which has been distributed worldwide, in part, by the HOPE Consortium partnership. Last year, Hayat Biotech announced the development of a purpose-built research and development hub for life sciences, biotechnology and vaccine production. Set up in KIZAD, the facility will be capable


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of producing over 200 million vaccine doses annually. AD Ports Group operates one of the largest and most advanced supply chains in the region supporting multiple industry sectors, including construction and pharma. As part of its Logistics Cluster’s value offering, it provides fully-integrated pharma logistics solutions by leveraging the Group’s broad portfolio of assets & services, supported by advanced digital technology, a modern fleet of

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400+ vehicles, and a network of world-class global logistics partners. Alongside the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, Etihad Cargo, Maqta Gateway, Rafed, and SkyCell, AD Ports Group is one of the founding members of the HOPE Consortium, which is helping lead the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to all parts of the globe. Thanks to the strength, commitment, and the collective capabilities of its members, the partnership has handled over 250 million vaccine

doses across 60 countries. During his last visit to Abu Dhabi, the Microsoft founder, philanthropist, and humanitarian Bill Gates commended the advanced vaccine warehousing facility in KIZAD, operated by AD Ports Group’s Logistics Cluster. He highlighted the importance of this initiative in successfully resolving some of the major challenges associated with vaccine distribution and in delivering millions of vaccines to communities in need.


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NEW GLOBAL CERTIFICATION FOR ENDTO-END SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT OF MEDICAL DEVICES ADPL is one of the first service providers in the UAE to be fully accredited for supply chain management services covering medical devices, equipment, and consumables AD Ports Logistics (ADPL) has secured the coveted International ISO Certification for its integrated end-to-end supply chain management services covering medical devices. With the latest ISO award, issued by Bureau Veritas, ADPL is one of the first service providers in the UAE to be fully accredited for supply chain management services covering medical devices, equipment, and consumables. The certified services include import, export, transport, storage, warehousing, freight forwarding, distribution and value-added services. Furthermore, combining the new ISO certification with the reputed Good Distribution Practice (GDP) award against both the European Union (EU) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, also received from Bureau Veritas, elevates the organisation’s position as a growing global provider of specialised healthcare business services. Robert Sutton, Chief Executive Officer of the Logistics Cluster, AD Ports Group, said: “As the demand for extensive, specialised and increasingly complex healthcare supply chains grows, healthcare logistics service providers will need to continue making strategic investments in infrastructure, technology,

procedures and expertise in order to stay ahead of the curve. By securing this important international certification, our team at AD Ports Logistics is demonstrating our steadfast commitment to supply chain excellence and is contributing to Abu Dhabi’s position as a worldclass life science logistics hub. “Given our previous success

in securing the world-renowned GDP accreditation for twin leading standards, ADPL is in an excellent position to serve the global healthcare marketplace, and our customers can be rest assured that their products will be handled safely, efficiently, and according to the highest levels of global regulatory and quality compliance.”


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AD PORTS GROUP’S MICCO LOGISTICS SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH DEAL DWC TO SERVE THE REGIONAL RETAIL & FMCG SECTOR Agreement to facilitate delivery of a full suite of integrated end-toend supply chain services MICCO Logistics, a whollyowned subsidiary of AD Ports Group, recently signed an agreement with DEAL DWC, a Dubai-based integrated logistics company, to provide combined services to the Retail and FMCG sectors across the UAE, KSA, and the broader MENA region. Under the terms of the

agreement, which signals AD Ports Group’s further expansion into the Retail and FMCG sector, the two organisations will leverage their extensive capabilities to offer a full suite of holistic end-to-end supply chain services to leading high-volume retailers and producers of FMCG products in the region.

The services offered by MICCO Logistics and DEAL DWC will include sourcing, overseas consolidation, export management, freight forwarding & clearance, transportation, warehousing, order processing, distribution, quick commerce fulfilment, and other logistics-related solutions.


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ROBERT SUTTON

Chief Executive Officer - Logistics Cluster

If we look back at the supply chain industry over the past 12-24 months, we will see that a lot has changed, creating many challenges and even more opportunities. One of the major challenges in the global supply chain structures that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed has been the overdependency on the prevailing “just-in-time” delivery model. While providing significant efficiency and cost savings during normal trade flows, the model proved fragile and unable to serve global demand during a destabilising event such as the pandemic, when many trade lanes were closed due to ongoing disruptions at major ports and the decisions by major carriers to reconfigure trade lane assets. The corresponding effects on the market have been surges in freight rates, increased transit times, and consistent inflationary pressures on consumer prices. According to research from the IMF, while higher shipping costs tend to hit prices of

imported commodities and goods delivered at ports within two months of a disruption, the impact on the prices that consumers pay at the cash register build-up more gradually, hitting their peak after 12 months. This is why we are seeing sustained upward pressures in global consumer prices today, even as lockdowns and restrictions associated with the pandemic retreat into the past. To counter this cost escalation, it is critical that we in AD Ports Group’s Logistics Cluster optimise and play our role in helping reduce our customers’ supply chain costs. Innovation and thought leadership, combined with strict cost controls, are essential. One of the primary solutions to the above-noted challenge will be the emergence of omnichannel supply chains that will reflect a balance of near, off and on-shore sourcing strategies, as part of the mitigation of “just-intime” sourcing. Abu Dhabi is in an excellent position to take advantage of this shift in global supply chain dynamics due to its central location connecting the East and West, namely Asia, Middle

East, Europe and Africa. AD Ports Group’s significant focus on the development of technology and strategic facilities means that we can help serve these markets by leveraging our enhanced supply chain capacity and capability, as the post-COVID trade recovers. With this in mind, our continuous investment in advanced infrastructure and securing of world-class certifications, including the latest ISO Certification for our integrated end-to-end supply chain management services, have allowed us to further expand our business and services within the healthcare, pharmaceutical, FMCG, and food and beverage sectors. Our recent agreements with Hayat Biotech and DEAL DWC, are testaments to our careful planning and strategic positioning, and are examples of more partnerships to come, as global trade is reestablished in accordance with a new set of supply chain dynamics.


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DEVELOPING NEXT GENERATION MARITIME TALENT Building and training a future-ready talent pool of maritime professionals is fast changing from being one of the biggest challenges in today’s global maritime industry to being one of its most critical opportunities, as stakeholders deploy new training approaches to tackle the shifting demands of the global economy. With shipping volumes set to increase by roughly 1.3 percent on average annually between now and 2050, ports and maritime players from around the world are doubling down on their respective approach to identify and sustain talent as they strive to embrace industry change and remain competitive. Aside from meeting the growing demands of a global economy, development in the sector is underpinned by increasingly prevalent trends such as safety and security, digitalisation and the global decarbonisation agenda, each driving demand for a diverse, multidisciplinary, and welltrained workforce to spearhead progress across the industry. To that end, developing maritime education and training that equips young talent with the new skillset companies are looking to recruit have become critical, making it the subject of AD Ports Group’s latest report that seeks to help stakeholders prepare for the modern maritime ecosystem through talent development. The report, ‘Equipping the Next Generation of Maritime Talent’, was derived from a range of qualitative interviews with international experts conducted throughout 2021 and 2022


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and covers pressing industry topics. These include tackling labour deficiencies with young talent, gender diversity in the workforce, project-based training to create leaders, research and development opportunities for industry and education, and adopting the green agenda. When exploring challenges faced by the ports and maritime industry, a major workforce shortage stands as the most prominent according to experts. And while the report highlights labour deficiency in shipping

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comes down to several factors, the rapid growth of global cargo movement coupled with a negative perception of ‘life at sea’ fuel the industry’s growing staff shortage. One potential solution identified in the report is for ports authorities and educational institutes to raise awareness on the sheer breadth of career options available both onshore and at sea. By highlighting the role that maritime plays in the carriage of around 90 percent of world trade, there is an opportunity to attract ambitious graduates looking to make an impact on the global economy. Industry experts further emphasise that when addressing the talent gap in the maritime industry, there needs a continued focus on gender diversity, citing that this also improves efficiency, teamwork and overall decision making. While there are several initiatives to promote women recruitment in the maritime sector, the report finds that there is much work to be done to ensure equal access to initial training opportunities. Another area for collaboration identified by experts is better connecting industry and academia to bolster research and development efforts as a tactic to solve real-world and complex problems faced by the ports and maritime sector. This important relationship ensures academic institutions teach relevant and meaningful curricula while offering a platform for industry to present its actual challenges. For the industry, collaboration with universities is important and beneficiary for both established and new businesses, driving industry transformation, commercialisation, and competitiveness through high quality academic research that benefits internal research and development efforts.

Besides, keeping maritime students as close to industry as possible in turn enables a smooth transition into a maritime career through project-based training. Many within the field of maritime education highlight that a key aspect of an effective projectbased programme is to cultivate insightful learning experience for participants, engaging them to identify and adhere to strategies aligned with the industry’s best practices. According to the report, students involved in these programmes benefit from projects that are designed to feel as real as possible. By controlling resources, participating in key decisions, and taking ownership of vital tasks, maritime students have the opportunity to learn and grow. In addition to project-based training, experts recommend the green agenda should fully integrate into the maritime curriculum as many within the industry move to align their strategies with global sustainable development agendas, such as the United Nations’ Global Compact and Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. Ultimately, the AD Ports Group study finds that by raising awareness around the different job opportunities in the sector, maintaining a diverse student quota, and offering learning around real-world issues, the next generation of maritime talent will be primed to navigate global supply chains successfully with a safe, efficient, and sustainable global agenda. You can download the report, ‘Equipping the Next Generation of Maritime Talent,’ on the AD Ports Group website at www. adportsgroup.com.


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AD PORTS GROUP AND NATIONAL MARINE DREDGING GROUP ANNOUNCE JOINT VENTURE Safeen Surveys and Subsea Services will provide geophysical and geotechnical offshore surveys, trenching services, and dredging support. AD Ports Group and National Marine Dredging Group have entered into an agreement to establish a joint venture company that will conduct offshore surveys and subsea services in the region. Safeen Surveys and Subsea Services will provide offshore surveys, both geophysical and geotechnical, trenching services, and dredging support in the UAE, across the Gulf Cooperation Council as well as in selected international markets. Aside from providing integrated subsea services, the new company will also offer unmanned inspection vessels,

remotely operated vehicles, and customized, cost-effective and innovative solutions for offshore oil and gas operations and renewable energy. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group said: “With this agreement in hand and the new joint company rising to meet the needs of the oil & gas and renewable energy sectors, Safeen Surveys and Subsea Services will deliver exceptional experience and expertise in the marine and diving services for our UAE clients to take advantage of.” Safeen will operate in the

UAE, GCC, and globally where AD Ports Group and NMDC maintain operations. Yasser Zaghloul, CEO, National Marine Dredging Group said: “By combining our expertise with our long-term partner, AD Ports Group, the new company will offer the most advanced and innovative offshore surveys and diving solutions to different types of environments and across wider geographies,” The new company will target markets such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Taiwan, Sudan, Iraq, Mauritania, Mauritius, Guinea, Pakistan, and Western India.


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CAPTAIN AMMAR AL SHEIBA Acting Chief Executive Officer - Maritime Cluster

In line with Plan Maritime 2030 - our wise Leadership’s vision to promote the maritime sector - Abu Dhabi is implementing an ambitious strategic framework to enhance the Emirate’s marine infrastructure and position Abu Dhabi as a leading global maritime capital. As the primary custodian of Abu Dhabi’s waterways and marine ecosystems, AD Ports Group is well-positioned to support this vision and lead milestone developments within the Emirate. Early in 2022, in close collaboration with the Department of Municipalities and Transport – Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Maritime announced the ground-breaking of several new marina and ferry stations across the UAE’s capital. Upon completion, these advancements will undoubtedly further Abu Dhabi’s unique maritime offerings for both residents and tourists.

In its endeavour to continue advancing maritime assets and facilities, Abu Dhabi is seeking to develop a Public Water Transport (PWT) system to further enhance regional and local connectivity, promote tourism and grow a multimodal integrated transportation system in Abu Dhabi. The public service will also deliver socio-economic benefits; apart from providing a unique passenger experience, PWT supports Abu Dhabi’s broader strategic plans and vision for integrated and sustainable transport modes. Abu Dhabi’s mainland coastline and rich marine environment are increasingly important contributors to the diversification of the economy, and therefore, the development of a world-class public water transport system is an encouraging step. Benefits offered by the PWT system in Abu Dhabi are aligned with similar initiatives in leading

cities around the world, such as New York, London, and Hong Kong. Therefore, it is crucial to identify insights into their PWT strategy, system, and operating models where safety, sustainability, and technology are the fundamental guiding principles. By investing in emerging technologies to build one of the world’s most modern, efficient, and effective infrastructure networks, advances in the public water transport system in Abu Dhabi are set to boost maritime infrastructure and redefine the future of the maritime and transport industry.


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SOLUTIONS FOR SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTION Understanding how ports around the world are working to mitigate current issues in the global supply chain. Recent global tensions have caused significant challenges for global trade, resulting in blocked shipping routes, lane closures, the suspension of services by logistic firms, and increased reliance on air transport solutions. Global supply firms are contending with considerably high air freight and tanker rates since the start of the year, exacerbated by increased fuel costs. In addition, the recent COVID-19-related lockdowns in China have impacted both domestic and international supply chains, which even once lifted, are likely to continue driving the disruption of port and logistics operations. This in turn is driving a knock-on effect on port activities across the world and lead to further disruptions in 2022. In response, the world’s maritime supply chain has already mobilised to tackle the disruption head on, employing risk management solutions and technology to mitigate the economic challenges that lie ahead for the remainder of the year. For example, many within the industry have adopted digital ‘control towers’, a platform utilised to provide enhanced visibility between trade partners that are powered by AI and machine learning capabilities. In practice, these control


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towers allow organisations to better identify suppliers and commodities with higher levels of risks across either the direct supplier base or extended supply network. At the same time, the diminished availability and subsequent increase in the price of several commodities, including oil and gas, metals, and food products, has led many nations and organisations from around the world to rely on alternative sources of supply, identifying and activating secondary supplier relationships. Understanding their vital role as part of national and global economic recovery efforts, port operators and leading facilitators of trade and logistics have begun to step up their support of industry through the crucial development of specialised infrastructure and innovative services. Saif Al Mazrouei, Chief Executive Officer, Ports Cluster, AD Ports Group, explains: “AD Ports Group is committed to developing the essential infrastructure that will ensure that reserves are accessible, by securing key partnerships with leaders of the energy and food industries in support of food and energy security. The work done to date has ensured that we have the responsiveness and resilience required to adapt to the currently volatile climate.”

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For example, in 2021, the Group signed a 50-year land lease with Anchorage Investment for the development of grain storage and processing plants at Khalifa Port. Set to be managed by National Feed, one of the largest Agro commodity processors in Abu Dhabi, the facility will feature an initial design capacity of 300,000 metric tonnes and introduce grain storage and processing capabilities to the multi-purpose port, which will be essential to produce food and animal feed ingredients including flour, barley, corn, starch, and glucose. Khalifa Port will also soon become the home of Abu Dhabi’s first greenfield commercial bulk liquid storage terminal. The facility’s first phase of development, which is on track for completion within the second half of 2022 and will comprise the deployment of 44 storage tanks sized 1250 and 3000 tonnes each, adds enhanced capabilities to the port for the handling and storage of bulk liquid products. More recently within the energy space, AD Ports Group entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with both ADNOC, the UAE’s stateowned oil company, and HHLA, a Hamburg-based logistics and transportation company that will see a joint effort to accelerate the cargo movement of hydrogen

products and the realisation of Hamburg’s status a hydrogen import hub in Germany. Through these endeavours, AD Ports Group remains steadfast in its commitment to the sustainable development of the UAE’s national economy and Abu Dhabi’s standing as a world-leading trade hub, while simultaneously contributing to international efforts to mitigate the negative impact of global tensions.

“AD Ports Group is committed to developing the essential infrastructure that will ensure that reserves are accessible, by securing key partnerships with leaders of the energy and food industries in support of food and energy security.”


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AD PORTS GROUP AND ALEXANDER GLOBAL LOGISTICS ESTABLISH A PULP AND PAPER PRODUCTS HUB IN ABU DHABI Global transhipment will operate from Khalifa Port to supply the world. AD Ports Group signed a strategic partnership agreement with Alexander Global Logistics GmbH in May. Under the agreement, the two parties will work closely to establish and launch a transshipment hub dedicated to handling pulp and paper products, which will operate from Khalifa Port. Saif Al Mazrouei, CEO of Ports Cluster, AD Ports Group, said: “Today’s announcement marks a key milestone in Khalifa Port’s ongoing development to support the UAE’s industrialisation efforts, and is also the first step in what we see as Abu Dhabi’s transformation into a regional leader for pulp and paper products. “The hub aims to address the changing needs of the global supply chain, both for pulp and paper producers and customers. In the first stage, expected to be completed by Q3 2022, a total of 20,000 sqm of quayside warehousing will be established in Khalifa Port. From there, all kinds of forestry products will be distributed into the Gulf region and beyond.” Carsten Hellmers, CEO of Alexander Global Logistics GmbH, said: “We are very excited about this project, as we have the strongest belief that the combination of expertise and knowledge of the industry brought into this Strategic Partnership Agreement by

Alexander Global Logistics plus the unique location, abilities and resources provided by AD Ports Group will soon allow the Pulp and Paper industry to have a world-class terminal to serve customers in the Abu Dhabi hinterland and reach other destinations taking full advantage of the hub.” The announcement of the new Strategic Partner Agreement in collaboration with Alexander Global Logistics GmbH marks the latest in a series of developments at Khalifa Port aimed at expanding the deepwater port’s capabilities to support a wide variety of industries.

“In the first stage, expected to be completed by Q3 2022, a total of 20,000 sqm of quayside warehousing will be established in Khalifa Port. From there, all kinds of forestry products will be distributed into the Gulf region and beyond.”


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SAIF AL MAZROUEI

Chief Executive Officer - Ports Cluster

One of the most exciting developments of 2022 to date has been the range of agreements AD Ports Group has signed with international authorities to manage and develop their port infrastructure. Recently, we have announced multiple agreements with authorities in Egypt to develop, operate, and manage a multi-purpose terminal in Safaga Port, as well as to manage cruise ship berths and terminals along the Red Sea coast. We have also completed multiple agreements with the Aqaba Development Corporation for the development of ports, logistics and digital infrastructure, strengthening Aqaba’s status as a key regional tourism and business hub. We are working with

the General Company for Ports of Iraq to explore investment opportunities in that country and are in discussions with multiple parties across the MENA region and beyond. These authorities are eager to work with us because of the experience and expertise we have developed within the UAE and because of the bold steps we have taken to tackle key structural challenges within our industry. Everywhere in the world, ports are facing pressure to increase their capacity to manage higher trade volumes at the same time as keeping costs down for their customers. Global supply chain issues and inflationary stresses have made this problem particularly acute in 2022. Add to that the need to protect food security and to manage the transition

to cleaner fuels, and port authorities are dealing with a wider range of issues than ever before. Fortunately, AD Ports Group has placed collaboration at the heart of our success. We understand that ports can only be as successful as the industrial ecosystem they develop around them, and that such communities require support and a deep understanding of their commercial and technological needs. Exporting that knowledge, and helping these ports achieve their full potential, is the next chapter of our shared journey.


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FACTS & FIGURES In April, AD Ports Group released its first annual report since the company was listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in February 2022. The report highlights the group’s remarkable progress, achieving strong revenue and net profit growth and emerging as a major distributor of COVID-19 vaccines. Economic Contribution As a strategic gateway to Abu Dhabi, AD Ports Group generated 21% of all non-oil related GDP in the Emirate, according to Oxford Economics and the company empowered more than 212,000 jobs in the UAE 10 Number of ports in the United Arab Emirates 1,500+ Number of investors in economic cities and free zones More than 550 kilometres Land available for industrial development More than 60 Number of countries that have received COVID-19 vaccines from AD Ports Group 3.910 billion Revenue achieved in 2021, a rise of 14% year-on-year 28.149 billion Total assets controlled in 2021


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