Dubai-based port and terminal operator DP World has unveiled plans to develop Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Port in support of the recently launched Saudi Vision 2030.
Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, outlined the significance of Jeddah Port as a gateway port for the Saudi market and for the region.
Bin Sulayem said that Jeddah’s role as a trade hub can be further boosted by DP World’s vision for its development over the next 30 years.
The Saudi Vision 2030 is also expected to play a pivotal role in changing the economic landscape of the Kingdom, wider region and the world. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also announced at the conference plans to build a new USD 500 billion mega project called NEOM that spans three countries.
Bin Sulayem highlighted how DP World’s plans for Jeddah support the project and will help realize the potential for economic growth owing to its geographical proximity to major markets and trade routes – 10% of world trade will pass through NEOM, while spurring innovations in the fields of technology, communications and renewable energy.
“As the first major investor in Jeddah port for almost 20 years now, we are committed to supporting the Kingdom’s effort to leverage its resources and investment capabilities through the development of Jeddah Port,” Bin Sulayem said.
“Our plans involve increasing efficiencies using innovative tech solutions and making it a semi-automated facility.., transforming the port to an important gateway to markets serving 500 million people which will make the Kingdom’s ports and logistics services a necessity and not a choice for global trade markets, particularly the Red Sea, which is the blood line of global trade. Jeddah Port is pivotal in facilitating the movement of goods between east and west, and in boosting Saudi exports,” he further said.
“Trade and infrastructure are key pillars in diversifying economies supported by technology and automation as we’ve seen at our Jebel Ali Port and Freezone, which together contribute to over 20% of Dubai’s GDP. Logistics corridors are another way of making life easier for business, while access to data through digital technology and transparent information are also essential in building governance,” Bin Sulayem concluded.
DP World operates the South Container Terminal (SCT) at Jeddah Islamic Port, a crucial link in the world’s busy east-west trade routes through the Red Sea and serving a major domestic cargo base in Saudi Arabia. The port is the main import destination for the country, handling 59% of its imports by sea and serving main commercial centers.