Middle East Infrastructure Investment – Ongoing but More is Needed

Ti is just days away from hosting the Emerging Markets Logistics Conference which will take place in Dubai over June 4th and 5th 2014. As the market leader in knowledge provision on Emerging Markets, Ti has designed a conference programme which will look at the major challenges and opportunities facing logistics service providers in the Middle East and help today’s industry leaders better understand the dynamics of operating in the region. Ahead of the conference, we at the Ti Blog are taking the opportunity to bring you several recently published articles focussing on the region as well as the conference and its sessions that first appeared as part of Ti’s free Logistics Briefing service. For more information on the conference, you can visit www.ticonferences.com. To sign up for Ti’s Logistics Briefing service, click here.

Throughout the Middle East, investments in infrastructure are ongoing. United Arab Emirates and Qatar have benefited from such investments. However, more is needed particularly for the “Arab Spring” economies such as Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Sudan and Libya. In fact, according to a World Bank study the Middle East region needs to spend $100bn per year on infrastructure.

As the region undergoes economic change, it is focusing on logistics as central to growth. True, this development varies greatly both in speed and nature from country to country but change is occurring throughout the region and the need for improved and expanded infrastructure is crucial for continued economic development.

The region’s infrastructure will be a major topic at Ti’s Emerging Markets Conference in Dubai June 4 and 5. Led by Agility, Ti’s conference partner, one of the key sessions, GCC infrastructure development and what it means to suppliers, customers and logistics providers will highlight projects – road, rail, air and sea – throughout the GCC – and what it all means to suppliers, customers and logistics providers. Moderated by Ti’s CEO, John Manners-Bell with panelists including Agility’s Mohammed Essa and Ethiad Rail’s John Lesniewski, discussions will focus on current projects, strategies for airports, ports, trucking and the railroad. Also, the development of hubs – are there too many? What about air-sea integration? Does it have a future? How about intermodal opportunities?

The implications for these infrastructure projects are huge. Ti estimates the region’s freight forwarding market grew at an estimated 6.8% in 2012 and cites projects such as the expansion at the port of Jebel Ali in the UAE and Oman’s port of Salalah along with Dubai World Central as attracting freight forwarders to the region.

Meanwhile, contract logistics is also growing across the Middle East at an estimated 5.7% rate for 2012. Diversification of industries is taking place and as such logistics providers are moving towards this region. For example, DB Schenker announced earlier this year that it has started construction work on its facility at Dubai Logistics City in Dubai, UAE, which planned to offer general cargo warehousing, distribution and value–added services. The main goods to be processed in the warehouse will be automotive, industrial spare parts and fashion items. Operations will have a focus on value–added services.

Agility’s Mohammed Esa, (Chief Executive Officer, Dubai & Senior Vice President UAE, Oman & Bahrain) noted that there have been a number of catalysts for investment that have prompted a shift in economic policies across the region. Growth within a variety of industry sectors such as, tourism, retail and healthcare has encouraged an influx of private sector investment. Whilst, increasing demographic pressures mean that governments have had to diversify regional and national economies, boost levels of non-oil GDP, and increase public investment in infrastructure in recent years.

Join us on Twitter to keep up with the latest in conference news as well as to share your thoughts at #TiDubai2014.

For additional information and to register for the event, please visit www.ticonferences.com or contact Sarah Smith, head of marketing and events at ssmith@transportintelligence.com.

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