South Africa Emerges as a Key Hub for the World Logistics Passport (WLP) in Africa

Photo: His Excellency Mr. Mahash Saeed Alhameli, UAE Ambassador to South Africa and Mr. Mahmood Al Bastaki, General Manager WLP at the WLP Gold and Diamond Round Table for South Africa Photo Credit: Hush Naidoo 

Photo: Mr Simphiwe Hamilton, Acting Group CEO of GGDA and Mr Mahmood Al Bastaki, General Manager WLP signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the World Logistics Passport & the Gauteng Growth & Development Agency (GGDA) to strengthen the trade and logistics landscape in the Gauteng Province

Photo: Mr Abdulrahman BinHaider, Head of WLP presents an overview to key logistics stakeholders

Photo Credit: Vision Gold photography

Photo: Photo: Center Mr. Mahmood Al Bastaki, General Manager WLP and His Excellency Mr. Mahash Saeed Alhameli, UAE Ambassador to South Africa with delegates, key logistics stakeholders, participants and guests 

Photo Credit: Vision Gold photography

Photo: His Excellency Mr. Mahash Saeed Alhameli, UAE Ambassador to South Africa and Mr. Mahmood Al Bastaki, General Manager WLP at the WLP Gold and Diamond Round Table for South Africa 

Photo Credit: Vision Gold Photography

14 October 2022

By Susan Novela

As part of the development of the World Logistics Passport (WLP) in Africa, the World Logistics Passport high-level delegation from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is visiting the Republic of South Africa from 10 to 18 October 2022, to meet with key stakeholders to explore

opportunities, and to build relationships further. South Africa is important in this regard since it is a natural gateway into the continent and the UAE believes this holds “immense” benefit.

“We reiterate that South Africa’s stable macroeconomic environment provides a strong platform to attract foreign capital that can fund

additional physical investment. Moreover, international investors regard South Africa’s prudent macroeconomic policies, well-developed infrastructure, and well regulated logistics sector highly,” said UAE Ambassador to South Africa, His Excellency Mr Mahash Saeed Alhameli.

The UAE’s World Logistics Passport official delegation’s mission to South Africa is to strengthen bilateral trade relations between the UAE and South Africa by leveraging the WLP’s value proposition to facilitate and increase trade in high value commodities.

It also aims at establishing the WLP programme in Johannesburg, South Africa as a hub for precious metals. The delegation is also interacting with key potential partners from the membership of the South African government, Mining Companies, Mining Associations, South African trade and investment bodies, and local big business.

To date, high-level participation from investors and corporate owners from the logistic sectors has been achieved. On Monday 10 October, World Logistics Passport (WLP) delegates met with key stakeholders and partners in Johannesburg to discuss and strengthen the bilateral trade between the two countries.

The UAE Ambassador together with the Head of the Delegation Mr Mahmood Al Bastaki, General Manager of WLP, represented the UAE at the discussions.

The Prime Minister of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid

Al Maktoum instituted the WLP in 2020 for the advancement of multilateral trade by addressing industry specific supply chain

bottlenecks.

In his opening remarks on Tuesday, 10 October 2022, His Excellency Ambassador Mahash Saeed Salem Alhameli of the United Arab Emirates to South Africa and the Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps, welcomed the delegation and partners to the Round table meeting and said “The World Logistics Passport (WLP) is the globe’s first logistics loyalty programme.

With regard to UAE-South Africa Relations, the two nations share a great friendship that the founding fathers – the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and the late Nelson Mandela, fostered through an enduring brotherhood.”

This friendship that has spanned over 28 years has led to the growth of social and economic relations between the two nations. The UAE is South Africa’s biggest trade partner in the Gulf region and South Africa is the UAE’s second biggest trading partner on the African continent.

The WLP programme creates a platform for furthering trade relations and global development,” he intimated. South Africa as a key trade partner for the UAE has been chosen to be a key hub for the WLP on the African continent to lay down networking opportunities for four continents.

The programme allows South African exporters to use the Dubai hub to move freight around the world thereby expanding access to other partner hubs across the globe such as Brazil, Malaysia, Egypt, Thailand, China and India, among others.

The hope is that this interaction will create key opportunities for further strengthening and unlocking of South Africa’s own trade routes into Africa and globally, through the building of key networks with global partners.

The end game of this process is to grow the South African economy and boost its network of 27 countries by building bridges and tapping into the big potential, which South Africa holds.

On Wednesday, 11 October 2022, an event held at the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg provided authorities from respective WLP hubs, partners, as well as representatives from leading business with an engagement opportunity to enhance their understanding of the WLP’s value proposition.

The detailed interactions revealed that The World Logistics Passport (WLP) is the world’s first logistics loyalty programme for traders and freight forwarding agencies. The initiative works with partner from 27 global hub to customize benefits that provide members with economic efficiencies that reduce cost, save time and avail access to new market

opportunities.

In South Africa, World Logistics Passport (WLP) currently has 11 partners.

During his speech, the head of the delegation Mr. Mahmood Al Bastaki, General Manager of WLP said, “The benefits of the WLP to its members include the reduction in supply chain costs and faster, more efficient movement of goods and services, increased traffic, and access to the network of global partners.”

“We can connect you with the best in class, explore more opportunities for improvement and also enhance customer retention,” he added.

He further intimated that “The focus is on the power of connectivity. Through a trade a network, there is opportunity to create frictionless trade. When this is achieved, then by extension, the country will benefit. The economy will be boosted. This also makes the country more attractive to trade with.”

He added that the delegation is here:

• To learn more from key stakeholders

• To know the reality on ground

• To understand the challenges

“The point of departure is that the logistic pain points differ from commodity to commodity. By working together, these pain points can be identified and benefits that help grow trade can be customized, “Mr Mahmood Al Bastaki stressed,” Mr. Al Bastaki took the opportunity to thank all for partners and guests for attending the event and recapped that, “The vision of WLP is to increase bilateral trade and provide economic efficiencies so the global

trade can grow.

WLP is positioning itself as a global initiative to facilitate important relationships that can enhance the logistics

journey.”

“The presence of partners and stakeholders at this event is an example of commitment to ongoing conversations on this particularly important topic,” he continued. “You are the true experts that will make all the difference by working with the delegation and putting shoulders to the wheel together to yield fruitful results,” he hailed the attendees.

“This occasion only marks the beginning of open discussions and it is important to keep the momentum going,” he remarked. It is important to establish a joint task force that will ensure that discussions translate into tangible actions through a coherent, cogent and integrated action plan,” he lauded the importance of a strategic approach.

He impressed upon the delegates that there is a vision, a plan and the people, but that it is concerted collaborative action and initiative that will produce intended mutual benefits. “You have the responsibility to operationalize the vision with due confidence,” he encouraged delegates.

The event culminated in the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the World Logistics Passport (WLP) and the Gauteng Growth and

Development Agency (GGDA), which Mr. Al Bastaki and Mr. Simphiwe Hamilton, Acting Group CEO of GGDA signed.

The UAE believes that a greater understanding of the respective South African and UAE economies, and the opportunities therein will continue to facilitate expansion of trade and investment between the countries.

It thus commits to the encouragement and continued support for bilateral relations with South Africa in the key areas of business and investment.

This Article is also published in the Pretoria News on 14 October 2022

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