Trade tensions will make 2019 challenging, says DP World chief

Freight containers on a container ship at DP World Southampton. The head of the ports operator said the psychological impact of US-China trade tensions were starting to translate into reality. (Reuters)
Updated 18 November 2018
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Trade tensions will make 2019 challenging, says DP World chief

DUBAI: Global ports operator DP World believes international trade tensions such as those between the US and China will make 2019 challenging but not unmanageable, its chairman said on Sunday.
The Dubai government-controlled ports operator cautioned in August about geopolitical risks and changes in trade policies as first-half profit fell 2.1 percent.
DP World Chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told Reuters he believed the psychological impact of trade tensions involving the US were starting to translate into reality.
Financial institutions were becoming increasingly cautious and taking measures such as tightening lending in reaction to trade tensions, he said in an interview at the DP World Tour Championship golf tournament in Dubai.
That is likely to have a negative impact on growth in emerging markets, he said.

 

 DP World, one of the world’s largest port operators, was taking measures to reduce costs, and is addressing how it will manage a challenging 2019, said bin Sulayem.
“We are finding ways to make sure that we do well in 2019,” he said. He declined to comment when asked if the company would report a higher profit this year.
“Historically, we have managed worse scenarios than this,” he said of global market conditions, adding that DP World had reached its goals in 2018.
DP World is in a dispute with the government of Djibouti, which in February seized a port in the country operated by the Dubai company under a 50-year concession.
Bin Sulayem repeated a denial that the government of Djibouti has offered to buy DP World’s stake in the concession. He said he asked them to make an offer in January.
They have not taken “any measures to contact us,” he said.
DP World has also launched legal proceedings in Hong Kong against China Merchants over allegations they have infringed on their concession rights in Djibouti, he said.

FASTFACTS

BACKGROUND

Trade tensions were evident in Papua New Guinea on Sunday when Asia-Pacific leaders failed to agree on a communique at a summit for the first time in their history as deep divisions between the US and China over trade and investment stymied cooperation.


Companies in Oman need government permission before hiring expats

Updated 09 December 2018
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Companies in Oman need government permission before hiring expats

  • A new traffic light-themed online system is currently being rolled out in Oman, in which companies’ Omanization quotas are being monitored
  • “The new system focuses on enhancing Omanization rates in the private establishments”

DUBAI: Oman-based companies will have to secure the Ministry of Manpower’s go ahead before they can hire expats, local daily Times of Oman reported this week.
A new traffic light-themed online system is currently being rolled out in Oman, in which companies’ Omanization quotas are being monitored.
Under this new system, companies that meet Omanization standards set by the government will receive a green signal online, allowing them to proceed with hiring expat employees.
Companies with unclear Omanization policies will be given a yellow signal, while companies that fall short of meeting their quotas will receive a red signal, barring them from moving forward with hiring expat employees.
“The new system focuses on enhancing Omanization rates in the private establishments,” said a ministry spokesperson.
The step taken by the government is part of the Omanization drive to recruit more of its citizens in private companies, a similar push is underway across the GCC where countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have also been trying to increase the number of nationals in private sector employment.

Earlier this year, expat workers in the country faced a six-month visa ban across 87 industries, including media, engineering, marketing and sales, accounting and finance, IT, insurance, technicians, administration and HR.