Djibouti ends Dubai’s DP World contract to run container terminal

A worker walks in the container terminal of the port of Djibouti, in the tiny Horn of Africa Repubblic of Djibouti. (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 23 February 2018
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Djibouti ends Dubai’s DP World contract to run container terminal

DJIBOUTI/LONDON: Djibouti has ended a contract with Dubai’s DP World, one of the world’s biggest port operators, to run its Doraleh Container Terminal, the president’s office said on Thursday.
“The Republic of Djibouti has decided to proceed with the unilateral termination with immediate effect of the concession contract awarded to DP World,” the office of President Ismail Omar Guelleh said in a statement.
DP World called the move an illegal seizure of the terminal and said it had begun new arbitration proceedings before the London Court of International Arbitration, which has reviewed previous claims related to the dispute.
“We demand that the Government [of Djibouti] will cease its unlawful conduct and continue to work as partners with us,” DP World said in its statement.
The termination of the contract would have no material financial impact on the company, it said.
Last February, the London Court of International Arbitration cleared DP World of all charges of misconduct over a concession to operate the terminal, Dubai’s government said at the time.
In 2014, the government of Djibouti lodged claims accusing DP World, majority-owned by the Dubai government, of illegal payments to secure a 50-year concession for the Doraleh Container Terminal, the Dubai government said.
The president’s office said the contract was ended after the failure to resolve a long-running dispute between the two parties that started in 2012.
It gave no other details on the nature of the dispute, but said it took the decision to protect its “national sovereignty and economic independence.”
“It should be noted that the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) will now be under the authority of the Doraleh Container Terminal Management Company which is fully owned by the government,” the statement said.


Philips to close its UK factory in 2020, with loss of 400 jobs

Updated 17 January 2019
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Philips to close its UK factory in 2020, with loss of 400 jobs

AMSTERDAM/LONDON: Dutch health technology company Philips said on Thursday it planned to close its only factory in Britain in 2020, with the loss of around 400 jobs, the latest firm to move manufacturing jobs out of Britain.
The move is part of a push by Philips to reduce its large manufacturing sites worldwide to 30 from 50, and a spokesman said the decision had no direct link with Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
However, the company said in a statement that it had to “pro-actively mitigate the potential impact of various ongoing geopolitical challenges, including uncertainties and possible obstructions that may affect its manufacturing operations.”
The factory in Glemsford, Suffolk, produces babycare products, mainly for export to other European countries. Almost all its activities will move to Philips’ plant in Drachten, the Netherlands, which already employs around 2,000 workers.
“We have announced the proposal after careful consideration, and over the next period, we will work closely with the impacted colleagues on next steps,” said Neil Mesher, CEO of Philips UK & Ireland.
“The UK is an important market for us, and we will continue to invest in our commercial organization and innovation programs in the country.”
Once a sprawling conglomerate, Philips has transformed itself into a health technology specialist in recent years, shedding its consumer electronics and lighting divisions.
The firm has previously warned that Brexit would put Britain’s status as a manufacturing hub at risk.
Chief Executive Frans van Houten last year said that without a customs union — which has been ruled out by Prime Minister Theresa May — Philips would have to rethink its manufacturing footprint.
Britain is set to leave the EU on March 29, and politicians are at an impasse over how to do so after lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected May’s proposed withdrawal agreement on Tuesday.
Other firms have moved jobs out of Britain in recent weeks, sparking alarm among lawmakers that Brexit is impacting corporate decision-making.
Jaguar Land Rover has slashed UK jobs — mainly due to lower Chinese demand and a slump in European diesel sales — while Ford has said it will slash thousands of jobs as part of its turnaround plan.
While both decisions were driven by factors other than Brexit, each firm has also been vocal in warning of the risks of no-deal Brexit, where Britain leaves abruptly in March without a transition period.