Free Trade Zones – RiotJs Thu, 22 Jul 2021 06:33:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Why the proposed privatization of 36 state assets will not succeed and tackle over-reliance on oil – Report Wed, 21 Jul 2021 21:00:22 +0000

A report by the Economic Intelligence Unit said that the proposal by Nigeria’s privatization agency, the Bureau of Public Enterprises, to privatize 36 state assets is likely to fail in its goal of generating revenue for the government. government.

He said that despite the good goal of reducing operational inefficiencies and improving productivity, BPE’s poor track record in implementing its privatization program would not bring any improvement.

He referred to a claim by the CEO of the BPE, Alex Okoh, who noted that since its inception in 1999, the office has generated more than N1trn ($ 2.4 billion) from the sale, marketing and concession of 234 public assets, but pointed out that such transactions took place in the early years of Nigeria’s privatization program, as only some progress had been made in the past decade.

He noted, however, that the money generated by privatization would not compensate for the low taxation suffered by the government or an excessive dependence on oil revenues.

The EIU therefore suggested that future budgets include new taxes or increases to existing taxes, in particular value added tax (VAT).

The report said in part: “Nigeria’s privatization agency, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), plans to privatize 36 state-owned assets in 2021. The agency aims to raise 493.4 billion naira ( $ 1.2 billion) by selling or licensing assets, which include power plants and free zones.

“The objectives of privatization are to generate liquidity for the government and in doing so reduce operational inefficiencies and improve productivity through private investment. Such a large wave of privatizations reflects large oil and non-oil revenue deficits.

“In the first five months of 2021, tax revenue was 44.6% below official budget forecast and infrastructure spending was well below target. However, the BPE has a poor track record in implementing its privatization program. BPE chief executive Alex Okoh said that since its inception in 1999, the office has generated more than 1 trillion naira ($ 2.4 billion) through the sale, marketing and concession of 234 assets. public.

“But many of the deals took place in the early years of Nigeria’s privatization program. Little progress has been made over the past decade. For the three years leading up to 2020, the Federal Ministry of Finance did not declare any privatization proceeds, although revenue from sales was expected each year. Policymakers, who in 2019 announced a plan to reduce government equity in existing joint ventures with multinational oil companies to 40% from an average of 57.5%, no doubt want the benefits of the privatization.

“But the authorities have been hampered by various obstacles to relinquishing ownership and control of public property. It is doubtful that the BPE will meet its 2021 target. Not only has half the year already passed, but an erratic regulatory environment for private sector participation in public services (eg due to price controls) , questionable valuations of assets, significant liabilities held by companies, tangles of litigation and public opposition to sales of strategic state assets are equally dissuasive.

“While there may be a new trend to divest from loss-making state-owned enterprises as a way to alleviate fiscal pressures, the proceeds from privatization will not compensate for extremely low taxation or over-reliance on oil revenues. .

“For this reason, we continue to expect future budgets to include new taxes or increases in existing taxes, in particular value added tax (VAT). We continue to anticipate a VAT hike to 15%, a revenue measure that seems inevitable given persistent budget deficits.

“However, we continue to expect budget deficits in 2021-25, averaging 2.9% of GDP per year.”

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FTZ trade balance positive for 3 consecutive years Mon, 19 Jul 2021 08:51:45 +0000

TEHRAN – The secretary of the Iranian High Council of Free Zones said that the trade balance of the free zones and special economic zones of the country has been positive for the past three years.

“With the measures taken for the promotion of exports in the country, the trade balance of the free trade area and special economic zones has become positive over the past three years,” said Hamidreza Mo’meni.

Speaking at a meeting of the Bushehr Free Trade Area Strategy Council, Mo’meni said: “However, there are still weaknesses in the first and second generation of free trade areas and special economic zones of the country, which we will try to minimize by improving the infrastructure in these zones.

The official noted that the country’s free zones do not have a comprehensive development plan, which means that managers in each zone act according to their own preferences.

Exports, the transfer of technical knowledge, the attraction of national and foreign investments and the creation of sustainable jobs are among the expectations of free zones, and in order to prepare a comprehensive plan for the development of free zones, these issues should be considered for the next 50 years. years.

Noting that the Bushehr Free Trade Area will be officially inaugurated by President Hassan Rouhani in the near future, he expressed the hope that this free trade area can play a positive role in stimulating trade with the neighbors of the south of the country.

Earlier this month, Mo’meni announced that new free trade zones are expected to be created in the country during the current Iranian calendar year (ending March 20, 2022).

“If we can settle the subject of the comprehensive plans for these zones, I think that by the end of this year, the new free zones will be added to the existing ones,” he said on July 12.

The establishment of free zones in Iran dates back to the Iranian calendar year 1368 (March 1989-March 1990) following the fall in the country’s oil revenues the previous year which prompted the government to promote non-oil exports.

Iran’s first two free trade zones were established in the south of the country. The first was the Kish Free Trade Area established in 1368 on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf and the second was the Qeshm Free Trade Area established the following year on Qeshm Island in the Strait. of Ormuz.

Some five other free trade zones have also been established in the country since then, including Chabahar in the southeast of Sistan-Baluchestan province, Arvand in the southwest of Khuzestan province, Anzali in the north of Gilan Province, Aras in Eastern Azerbaijan Province and Maku in Western Azerbaijan. Province, both in the northwest of the country.

While nearly three decades have passed since the start of the activity of free trade zones in Iran, the planned objectives have not been fully achieved and their development still faces certain obstacles.

The lack of proportionality between the equipment and the objectives, the absence of a national definition of the performance of the free zones, the limited resources for the establishment and the completion of the infrastructures, the absence of overall management between the zones and the incomplete implementation of the zone management law are among the obstacles to the activity and development of free zones in the country.


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Extending the gains of upstream integration to sugar production Sun, 18 Jul 2021 09:37:17 +0000

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday gave its support to the Dangote sugar refinery, the BUA sugar refinery and the Golden Sugar Company to import sugar into the country, ordering no other company to have access foreign currency to import the product.

According to the apex bank, this is in line with the upstream integration policy as enshrined in the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP) as designed by the federal government under the National Sugar Council ago 13 years.

The term backward integration describes a situation in which a company moves to produce certain segments of its supply chain. This involves the expansion of a business towards the production of specific inputs or raw materials that would eventually be used in the production of its commodity. For example, a sugar factory that is expanding its business and starting to develop a sugar cane plantation has adopted upstream integration.

Giving the reasons for its decision, CBN in a circular signed by the Director of Commerce and Trade Department, Dr OS Nnaji said that Dangote, BUA and Golden Sugar had “made reasonable progress in achieving integration in upstream in the sector will only be allowed to import sugar into the country.

“In view of the above, authorized dealers should not open M forms or access foreign currency in the Nigerian foreign exchange market for any business, including the three listed above for importing sugar without approval. prior and express of the Central Bank of Nigeria as the Bank is in charge of the mandate of monitoring the implementation of the upstream integration programs of all companies

The journey towards the development of the NSMP began in 2008 under the administration of the late President Umaru Musa Yar ‘Adua. It was approved and adopted in 2012 by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. But its implementation took off in July 2013 with an estimated target of producing 1.79 million tonnes of sugar locally by 2020, among other targets.

The then Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, who celebrated the signing ceremony that marked its opening in Abuja, said during the ceremony that the NSMP would mark the start the nation’s journey towards industrialization, in accordance with the Industrial Revolution Plan (PNIR).

The NSMP was established to encourage and incentivize sugar refining companies in their Upstream Integration Program (PIF) for local sugar production. This is an effort to conserve scarce foreign currency, as the country in 2019 spent $ 545.536 million importing sugar, according to Trend Economy data.

The 2019 figure is far lower than the $ 1.55 billion the country spent on importing sugar in 2011. This is one of the reasons the central bank insisted that its foreign exchange ban on certain items remain. unchanged. Despite this, in the first quarter of 2021, the country spent 88.9 billion naira to import cane sugar from Brazil.

In April of this year, the federal government banned the import of refined sugar and its derivatives from the country’s free zones (FTAs) as part of its efforts to protect the sugar industry which is governed by the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan. (NSMP).

The letter from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, Lagos to one of the terminal operators at the Lagos Port Complex reads: “We have for reference a letter from the Honorable Minister of ‘Industry, Trade and Investment ref: HMIT1 / GEN / CORR / 008 / VOL. I, dated February 15, 2021, on the above subject.

“We recently learned that due to the recent location of a sugar refinery in a free trade zone, refined sugar is being imported into the Nigerian customs territory under the concession granted to companies in the zones. free trade to export 100 percent. of their production to Nigerian customs territory, and this is a real potential threat to the objectives of the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).

Earlier this year, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Niyi Adebayo, during the presentation of the National Sugar Institute, noted that the investments already made by the federal government and the private sector in the sugar industry are capable of creating thousands of jobs in agriculture and manufacturing.

“The government recognizes the need to deepen partnership with the private sector to promote access to skills development, research and development in a way that promotes competition, productivity, profitability and sustainability in the industry. ‘sugar industry,’ he said.

Congratulating the sugar industry stakeholders for their support, Adebayo pledged that the expectations of a manly and competitive sugar industry for the country through the NSMP would be met.

According to Nigerian American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) vice president Ehi Braiman, implementing the local content initiative in Nigeria would attract more than $ 5 billion to the economy.

Braiman added that besides the influx of foreign exchange, upstream integration will also create massive employment opportunities for young people as there is an abundance of natural and mineral resources in the country.

Braiman postulates that Nigeria has already achieved a significant level of upstream integration in the cement sector, as more than 80 percent of its raw materials are locally sourced. He also said that the policy is seen as a strategy to increase the participation of local businesses in the value chain of various sectors.

He argued that if sustainable economic development is achieved in Nigeria, the local content policy must be extended to other sectors of the economy.

Although efforts have been made by the government to promote the local content initiative in Nigeria, such as the forex ban on 41 items that encouraged the production of toothpicks using locally sourced raw materials, the policy of Local content needs to be extended to more sectors so that the inherent gains will be maximized.

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CBN says only Dangote, BUA and Golden Sugar can import sugar into the country Sat, 17 Jul 2021 09:27:49 +0000

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced the restriction of the importation of sugar into the country to only 3 companies.

The umbrella bank said that only BUA Sugar Refinery Limited, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc and Golden Sugar Company may be allowed to import sugar into the country through one of the official sources of foreign currency.

The CBN’s decision is due to reasonable progress made by the 3 companies in achieving upstream integration, a program introduced by the federal government, in the sector.

This disclosure is contained in a circular with reference number TED / FEM / PUB / FPC / 01/006, published on Friday, July 16, 2021 and signed by the Director of the Department of Commerce and Trade of CBN, Dr Ozoemena Nnaji.

The CBN in the circular to all authorized dealers said that henceforth, no business other than the aforementioned 3 companies should be allowed to open Form M or access foreign exchange market currencies to import sugar into the country without its. prior or express approval. .

What the CBN circular says

The CBN circular reads as follows: “The Federal Government of Nigeria, under the auspices of the National Sugar Development Council, has established the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan to encourage and incentivize sugar refining companies in their upstream integration program for local sugar production. .

“As a result, the three underlisted companies, which have made reasonable progress in achieving upstream integration in the sector, will not be allowed to import sugar into the country: BUA Sugar Refinery Limited, Dangote Sugar Refinery Pic and Golden Sugar Company.

“In view of the above, authorized dealers should not open M forms or access currency in the Nigerian foreign exchange market for any business, including the three listed above for importing sugar without the Prior and express approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria as the bank is charged with the mandate of monitoring the implementation of the upstream integration programs of all companies.

What you should know

Recall that in April 2021, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele announced his intention to include sugar and wheat in the list of exchange restrictions as part of measures to conserve currencies and boost production local of these articles.

In addition, in April 2021, the federal government, through a letter issued by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), banned the import of refined sugar and its derivatives from the country’s free zones (FTAs). .

The federal government’s action is part of its efforts to protect the sugar industry, which is governed by the Nigerian Sugar Master Plan (NSMP).

Nigeria is currently estimated to spend between $ 600 million and $ 1 billion importing sugar each year.

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Pakistan strengthens its industrial power by mobilizing local talent Fri, 16 Jul 2021 05:55:20 +0000

Abdul Razak Dawood, adviser to Prime Minister Imran Khan on trade and investment, in his interview with Gulf News.
Image Credit: Sana Jamal

Islamabad: Pakistan has implemented an ambitious strategy to strengthen industrial strength by mobilizing local talent and providing incentives to achieve export-oriented economic growth with a new emphasis on trade with Central Asian states landlocked but rich in energy, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

In 2018, when the current government came to power, the focus was on “stabilizing the economy and now that we have moved on to the start of growth, all efforts are focused on sustainable economic growth,” he said. said Abdul Razak Dawood, advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan. on trade and investment, in an interview with Gulf News.

With eyes on the 4.8% growth target for fiscal year 2021-2022, Khan’s government aims to unlock manufacturing potential and facilitate industrialization to create new jobs, boost exports and make dynamic and competitive local production as the country seeks to end its dependence. on foreign loans and bailouts.

Exports up to a record $ 31.3 billion

The current government’s biggest accomplishment, Dawood said, is the record $ 31.3 billion in exports of goods ($ 25.3 billion) and services ($ 6 billion) in the fiscal year. 2020-21 despite pandemic challenges that have slowed global economic activity. The Commerce Department has set the export target of $ 35 billion in the next fiscal year, Dawood told Gulf News.

“Doing in Pakistan is our top priority now,” Dawood said. Pakistan’s policy in the past has been to support trade rather than manufacturing, which is changing under Khan’s administration. “Manufacturing is the creation of wealth. It helps build industries, create more jobs ”which Pakistan, a country of 220 million people, desperately needs. The large-scale manufacturing sector saw 9% growth between July and March 2020-2021, indicating a strong post-pandemic recovery. Support programs for industry, incentives such as gas and electricity at competitive prices at the regional level for export-oriented companies, tax exemptions for manufacturers in the efficient sector have contributed to this growth.

The main objective is to improve the share of exports in the economy and to encourage import substitution. Imran Khan “is still pushing to increase exports” to put the country on the path to economic development, he said.

To support exports, Dawood explained that the government has removed three barriers: moving to a fixed parity that artificially overvalued the rupee, refunds to exporters and manufacturers on time, and exemptions from customs duties mainly on raw materials. . Over the past three years, “we have removed high tariffs on 4,000 tariff lines out of a total of 7,300 lines”, which means that 54% of raw materials and intermediate materials for industry now reach the market. Pakistan at zero tariff rate, which makes our industry more competitive. Dawood says a few businessmen have claimed they are now able to produce goods at a lower price than China, which he calls the “real impact” of the new government policy. “The tariff rationalization policy will encourage industrialization” and reduce dependence on imports of foreign manufactured goods. Increased imports of raw materials may initially widen the trade deficit, but the government is prepared to pay this price to help strengthen the industrial base, which will benefit the economy in the long run in the form of increased prices. exports which would improve the trade balance.

Ambitious target

But how will Pakistan achieve this ambitious goal? Product diversification, incentives for key industries and access to new foreign markets are the main objectives on which the Ministry of Commerce focuses.

Pakistan has historically relied on exports of limited commodities, including textiles and clothing, leather products, and rice, which account for a larger share of export earnings. This is where the change will come as part of the strategic trade policy that will help “diversify our product line to reach new markets,” the adviser explained. As the country plans to go beyond simple manufacturing, the five key areas will be: pharmaceuticals, engineering, food processing, fisheries, fruits and vegetables. The Pakistani government’s new policies offer incentives and tax breaks to cellphone and vehicle manufacturers to promote local industries, encourage foreign direct investment and joint ventures, and boost exports. The country is also aiming to double its IT exports to $ 6 billion in two years.

Regional connectivity

The Pakistani port city of Gwadar, described as the growing destination for investment, is expected to become the country’s manufacturing hub, opening up new opportunities for regional trade, Prime Minister Khan said recently when launching development projects in Gwadar. A range of incentives are offered to foreign investors in Gwadar Special Economic Zones and Free Zones – the centerpiece of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – connecting South and Central Asia and the Middle East.

“Improving regional connectivity” for establishing trade links, especially with Central Asian states, is a key priority for Pakistan under its new geo-economic strategy. “Currently, we are focusing on the western borders,” which means expanding trade with Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and beyond. “Pakistan aims to forge strong trade ties with Central Asian states as part of its Silk Road reconnection policy to tap into the more than $ 90 billion economy and provide them with access to Pakistani seaports, ”he said. Improving market access to Russia and the European Union is also of vital importance to Pakistan, he said.

New markets and trade links

Pakistan has signed Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with China, Sri Lanka and Malaysia and has concluded preferential trade agreements with Indonesia, Mauritius, D-8 and OIC countries. The country also benefits from SPG + status, allowing duty-free access to the European Union. Pakistan is currently in negotiations with Turkey for an FTA and preferential trade with Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states to expand market access.

To identify new markets and strengthen trade relations and investment, Pakistan is considering massive participation in Expo 2020 Dubai. “It offers Pakistan an opportunity to present itself to the world as a progressive, tolerant and diverse country with rich culture, heritage, tourist destinations and business opportunities. Although we are a new country but an old civilization, ”Dawood said, adding that Pakistan will showcase its unique culture and great tourism and economic potential at the Expo.

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DP World hires mergers and acquisitions advisors to sell Jebel Ali free zone Thu, 15 Jul 2021 04:10:04 +0000

Dubai-based trade and logistics giant DP World brought in M&A consultants to help sell a stake in the Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) – a thriving Special Economic Zone in Dubai that nearly supports of $ 100 billion in trade.

DP World first took a stake in Jafza for over $ 2.5 billion in 2014. The state-owned logistics giant was privatized last year – and is now seeking to raise capital and strengthen its balance sheet through the sale of stakes in some of its Jafza assets.

Bank pillar negotiators JP Morgan, Standard Chartered and First Abu Dhabi Bank have all been called in to support the sale, with other consultants involved in the transaction (strategic, financial) unknown at the time of writing. The advisory team is responsible for assessing interest in Jafza’s participation and finding potential buyers, who are likely to be numerous.

Jafza was established in 1985 as a free economic zone, allowing 100% foreign ownership without any restrictions on repatriation of capital, currency or recruitment from abroad – all under a 0% tax regime. on corporations, income tax and import / export duties. And these are just a few of the advantages of the region.

The zone was created to attract foreign investment, and that is exactly what it has done. A set of about 20 companies that started in Jafza has now grown into a troop of over 8,000 companies from over 100 countries, including nearly 100 Global Fortune 500 companies. With a business value of $ 99.5 billion , Jafza contributes nearly 24% of Dubai’s GDP and supports more than 135,000 jobs.

This is in addition to attracting around 24% of Dubai’s foreign direct investment – a tempting prospect for investors and potential buyers. The Mubasher publication suggests that an equity stake in Jafza will match some infrastructure funds, private equity players and other institutionalized investors in the region.

A sale would raise much-needed capital for DP World, a global specialist in ports, parks and economic zones, logistics, maritime services and smart commerce. The recently privatized company has a global workforce of over 53,000 people in more than 130 countries and will benefit from a much needed injection of capital.

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Mexico expands free zone authorization to include U.S. company Tue, 13 Jul 2021 13:05:00 +0000

The creation of “strategic fiscal zones” is designed to improve Mexico’s international economic competitiveness. SkyPostal’s AJ Hernandez notes that it is also expanding importers’ access to the booming Mexican consumer market.

MIAMI, July 13, 2021 / PRNewswire-PRWeb / – In Mexico, a “fiscal recinto” is comparable to an American free trade zone, an area reserved by customs for storing, handling and supervising goods linked to foreign trade. Within the fiscal recinto, there may be “recintos fiscalizados estrategicos”, or RFEs, whose function is similar to a bonded warehouse – a place to store goods close to foreign customers for faster delivery. In some cases, the RFE can certify the validity of information relating to the content, tax, and delivery of these goods without the need for a Mexican customs inspection. (1) “By expanding the authorization of RFEs,” says A J Hernandez, President and CEO of international business-to-consumer shipping company SkyPostal, Inc., “the Mexican government has been pursuing for a decade a plan of measures aimed at strengthening the overall economic situation of the country”.

The RFE, notes Hernandez, is a relatively recent customs designation in Mexican economic law, and has not been widely explored from an operational point of view. It was added to Mexican customs law in June 2016. There are 11 RFEs allowed in Mexico, in various regions of the country: Aguascaliente, Altamira, Ciudad Hidalgo, Ciudad Juárez, Ciudad de México, Colombia, Lazaro Cardenas, Guaymas, Mazatlan, Tijuana, and Veracruz. (2)

The national government says Hernandez, can also define an import system, such as a shipping company, as RFE. SkyPostal, Inc., in fact, headquartered at Miami and does business everywhere Latin America, was recently designated RFE by the Mexican government. The approval process says Hernandez, required several certifications and the deposit of a security $ 1 million WE. SkyPostal has a huge database of addresses and tax information that is transparent to the Mexican government.

Partly via the database and in part thanks to long years of experience, says Hernandez, the company has established a level of trust with the Mexican government. To help maintain that trust, he adds, SkyPostal is required to maintain a high level of security, including carefully screening employees and acquiring armored vehicles. “It’s a win-win situation,” he says. “We are saving money for the Mexican government and helping to facilitate the importation of products such as cosmetics, which have experienced delays and difficulty reaching the Mexican market.” Obtaining the RFE has enabled SkyPostal to import cosmetic products into Mexico. A feat, Hernandez adds, no other sender can do this.

SkyPostal, he said, is currently in conversation with other Latin American governments to establish similar relationships with customs organizations in those countries.

Meanwhile, SkyPostal is encouraging other importers to think about what Hernandez described as a secure and streamlined alternative to the standard Mexican import and customs process. “For 40 years,” he says, “our mission has been to facilitate access for North American and European exporters to the rich but very complex Latin American market. We thank the Mexican government for the confidence it places in us. , and having agreed with us that, properly managed, there is a better way for everyone involved. “

About SkyPostal:
SkyPostal was established in 2001 to meet the need for an improved and efficient cross-border courier and parcel service from United States and Europe to all the countries of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Mexico. It is now the largest private mail and delivery network in Latin America, serving European postal administrations, major publishers, the world’s largest e-commerce retailers, international mailers and financial institutions who need reliable and secure delivery of their mail and parcels. For more information, please see

1. David Romo, et al. “Le Recinto Fiscal en Mexico. “Tecma, March 4, 2021,
2. “Strategic fiscal cities and special economic zones, the future of Mexican customs? TLC Magazine Mexico,

Media contact

Karla Jo Helms, JOTO PR Disruptors (TM), 727-777-4621,

Daniel Whispers, JOTO PR Disruptors (TM), 727-777-4621,


SOURCE SkyPostal

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Gwadar fast growing gateway Mon, 12 Jul 2021 03:59:47 +0000


Gwadar, once a backward and impoverished area, is emerging as a hub of connectivity and development.

Numerous studies have established that after the completion of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) road, Gwadar will be one of the most competitive connectivity hubs in the region and beyond.

China, the Middle East, North Africa and many Western countries will be the main beneficiaries.

The Advanced Journal of Transportation published a study in 2019, which analyzed Gwadar’s possible impact on China’s competitiveness and trade with six countries namely Oman, Saudi Arabia, France, Kuwait, Germany and the Netherlands.

The results of the study suggest that travel time would be reduced by 20 days for Oman, 21 days for Saudi Arabia, 24 days for Kuwait, 21 days for the Netherlands, Germany and France by making of trade via Gwadar.

In addition, the study results highlighted that trading through the port of Gwadar would help trading partners save $ 1,857 for Oman, $ 1,457 for Saudi Arabia, $ 1,457 for Kuwait and $ 1,357. for the Netherlands, Germany and France on each container. It will strengthen the competitiveness of each trading partner on foreign markets. Trade through Gwadar will also create economic opportunities for Pakistan. It has been predicted that Pakistan can generate revenues in the range of $ 7-8 billion to $ 10-12 billion per year in the form of services and fees.

Local industry and the service sector along the route will also benefit. Job creation will be the added benefit. In addition, the Central Asian states are also looking to connect with the world through the port of Gwadar. They showed an extreme interest in the port of Gwadar and allied installations.

According to an analysis by the Asian Eco-Civilization Institute, Gwadar will provide an opportunity for Pakistan to attract foreign investment, especially in special economic zones and free economic zones of Gwadar.

The analysis pointed out that by establishing industrial units and enterprises in Pakistan, ASEAN countries would be more competitive.

The main contributing factor would be a substantial reduction in travel time. For example, the journey time from Port Klang (Malaysia), Bangkok Modern Terminal, Pulau Sebarok (Singapore), Bekapai Terminal (Indonesia) and Port of Hanoi (Vietnam) to Hamburg (Germany) is 39.4 days, 43, 7 days, 40.1 days, 45 days and 47.1 days respectively.

On the contrary, by using Gwadar, the journey time will be reduced to just 29.4 days, which will help to reduce transport costs and improve competitiveness.

ME investment

Pakistan can also urge Middle Eastern countries to invest in the South Asian country, especially in oil, refinery and related sectors. It will be a win-win proposition.

Currently, Saudi Arabia is China’s largest oil supplier, and Kuwait is among China’s top eight oil sellers. By establishing a refinery and other facilities in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait can increase their profit margins.

It will also create opportunities for Pakistan to develop the refinery and related activities. China will benefit from importing petroleum and other products cheaply and through a safe route. In short, the investment of ASEAN countries and the Middle East will help Pakistan on several fronts. It will be a good source of employment for locals and young people as Pakistan is home to a large young population.

It will also provide opportunities to increase Pakistan’s merchandise exports and add to foreign currency reserves, which are needed to repay loans from international lenders. These are just a few examples and a side of Gwadar. On the other hand, Gwadar presents excellent national development opportunities, especially in Balochistan. Pakistan is fully aware of the fact. Therefore, in recent years, he has intensified his efforts to develop Gwadar and other parts of Balochistan.

A few days ago, Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Gwadar, inaugurated many projects and witnessed the signing of memoranda of understanding. The important projects that were launched were the Gwadar Expo Center, a fertilizer factory, an animal vaccine factory, the Henan Agricultural Industrial Park, the Hengmei lubricants factory and the phase 2 of the Gwadar Free Zone.

Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar pointed out that phase 2 of the Gwadar free zone was 35 times larger than the free zones in phase 1.

Agreements for a 1.2 million gallon per day desalination plant and a China solar generator subsidy for southern Balochistan have also been signed.

All of these initiatives will create hundreds and thousands of jobs for the local population. Jobs are desperately needed in Balochistan as there are not many job opportunities. These projects will also help improve the agriculture and livestock sectors in Pakistan through the provision of quality and timely inputs.

The animal vaccine plant will be useful in controlling diseases in animals, which hamper the export of meat and dairy products.

Areas of attention

However, to take advantage of all these opportunities and the potential of Gwadar, Pakistan needs to work in two areas.

First, the country should strengthen the Authority of CPEC for smooth cooperation, planning and execution of plans. The authority has proven itself even during the Covid-19 pandemic and has continued to deliver.

Thus, it is suggested to strengthen it by delegating decision-making and executive powers.

The government should make it a focal point for international business and investment opportunities. It should have the power to facilitate the obtaining of the required services, licenses and authorizations. Second, the equal distribution of jobs between young and talented people will be another area that will require dedicated efforts.

The government will need to ensure that there is no job capture by elites, especially retired government personnel and those close to the ruling class. Youth engagement is extremely important, especially in the context of the Fifth Generation War. Young unemployed people deprived of opportunities will be a real challenge, which will be beyond the control capacity of the state.

Thus, the government should establish mechanisms that ensure fair competition and take into account the special needs of marginalized people.

The writer is a political economist

Posted in The Express Tribune, July 12e, 2021.

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Arab container flow to Brazil is underutilized Fri, 09 Jul 2021 18:00:49 +0000

After Brazilian exports were shipped to Arab countries, the reverse flow of containers was not put to good use, said Jean Stoll (pictured above), global director of protein and dairy at AP Moller-Maersk. The executive participated in the webinar “Logistics and transport between Brazil and the Arab countries: opportunities, challenges and role of the Suez Canal sea route” on Tuesday (6). The event was organized by the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC).

For Stoll, particularly with regard to refrigerated containers, also known as “reefers”, the logistics of returning to Brazil give way to imports at reduced costs. reefer containers on foot per week, carrying poultry and beef, ”he detailed. In the case of AP Moller-Maersk alone, the manager states that shipments average 90 containers per week, and of that total, only 7% return full. Among the products that come back, there are, for example, sardines from Oman and Morocco.

Maartje Driessens spoke about the port of Açu

To increase the flow of foreign products, domestic terminals are essential. “We operate as a port authority, and all partners have many types of exports. We are a gateway to states such as Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo, ”said Maartje Driessens, Director General of Strategic Partnerships at the Port of Açu.

By improving this Brazilian infrastructure, which is modernizing to receive more imported products, there are opportunities for the Arabs themselves. Observe Cornelis Hulst, Vice President of Operations of the Port of Pecém, who receives government and private investments. “Obviously, the goal is to attract big industries to produce with us, but that requires fast services, maintenance, information technology, and these are all opportunities for Arab countries who already have the experience. invest in companies that do. We’re not just talking about trade and commodities, but about expertise trading, ”Hulst said.

“I see an absolute possibility of transforming these two ports into hubs for Arab and affiliated products”, underlined the secretary general of the ABCC, Tamer Mansour, who moderated the technological session.

Fabian Lavaselli, Supply Chain Director and Sales Director of Norsul Shipping Company, agrees with the great opportunities in Brazil. “We noticed that in the North region, there was a development. Any grain [that we think of], Brazil is in the top 5 [in production], and we now have better logistical conditions, connecting the northern exit to the Brazilian coast, ”he said.

Still regarding logistics issues, Medhat Elkady, president of the Egyptian International Freight Forwarding Association (EIFFA), reminds that technological investment will be essential.

Integration of value chains

During the webinar session on Integrating Global Value Chains with Arab Countries, one of the speakers was Marcus Vinícius Pillon, Head of Business Intelligence at ABCC. He pointed out that one of the main logistical problems is the time that ships spend between Brazil and Arab countries, which is on average 49 days. “Shipping ends up being a problem for industries that have products with a shorter shelf life, like fruit,” he reflected.

Some concepts discussed by Orlando Cattini Junior, coordinator of the Center of Excellence in Supply Chain and Logistics of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo (FGVcelog), help to overcome the high cost of transport. One of them is the value chain. “In the value chain, companies have realized that there are advantages to splitting operations, from raw material to consumption, in many regions or countries. This cuts costs and takes advantage of the technical expertise of several parties, ”he explained.

Making the regional organization more efficient is also a determining factor for Sara Hassan Kamal Elgazzar, Dean of the College of International Transport and Logistics (CITLC) of the Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT). Elgazzar noted that trade between Brazil and the Arabs is not yet at its peak. “There is potential for growth, but how can we accelerate it? Improve integration between the two parties? Technology transfer could help with this and build confidence in the relationship, ”she said, noting that operations that take advantage of free trade zones such as the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) may reduce time and cost.

Moderator of the debate, Qaisar Hijazin, secretary general of the Arab-Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce (ABLCC), reinforced the importance of the Canal. Suez Canal, ”he concluded.

The event was also attended by the Vice-President of the Lebanese Investment Development Authority (IDAL), Alaa Hamieh, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Infrastructure, Felipe Fernandes Queiroz, and the Port Advisor of the General Authority of the SCZone, Mohamed Abdelaziz.

The opening of the seminar was made by Ambassador Osmar Chohfi, President of the ABCC; Khaled Hanafy, Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers (UAC); and Adel Abou Rejeili, President of the Brazil-Lebanon Chamber of Commerce (CCBL) in Rio de Janeiro. ABCC Vice-President of Foreign Trade Ruy Cury closed the event.
Source: Brazilian-Arab News Agency (ANBA)

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China plans annual retail sales growth of 5% Fri, 09 Jul 2021 09:44:00 +0000

BEIJING, July 9 (Xinhua) – China’s retail sales are expected to reach 50 trillion yuan ($ 7.72 trillion) by 2025, an expected average annual growth of 5% for the period of 14th five-year plan (2021-2025), the Ministry of Commerce announced on Friday.

China is committed to building a strong domestic market with new measures to promote a higher level of openness during the period 2021-2025, according to a business development plan released by the ministry.

Online retail sales will grow an average of 7.6 percent annually to 17 trillion yuan, with merchandise trade expected to total $ 5.1 trillion by 2025, according to the plan.

China will strive to play a better role in global economic governance and strengthen its capacity to prevent and defuse risks, according to the plan.

The plan also listed measures to further promote pilot free trade zones and free trade ports as major hubs to better serve the country’s new development paradigm of “dual traffic”.

“Dual circulation” allows domestic and foreign markets to be mutually reinforcing, with the domestic market being the mainstay.

In addition to the 2021-2025 development goals, the plan also provided for prospects for better trade growth in 2035.

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