ISLAMABAD: A United Arab Emirates-based multinational logistics company is set to invest millions of dollars by expanding its operations in Pakistan, with a focus on improving the country’s road network and ports, said the company’s newly appointed vice chairman Fakhar-e-Alam on Thursday.
Earlier this week, Dubai Port (DP) World announced in a statement it had appointed Pakistani celebrity Alam as its vice chairman to spearhead a “multibillion-dollar investment strategy” in the South Asian country.
DP World is a global port operator and logistics company operating in over 69 countries across every continent. It is said to be “the crown jewel enterprise of Dubai” which is currently valued at about $90 billion. The company’s core business has also facilitated global trade flow.
“DP World has been in Pakistan for many years and has been a driving force in making Port Qasim one of the most successful ports in Pakistan,” Alam told Arab News over the phone from Dubai.
He said as the vice chair of the company, his basic responsibility would be to advance its interest and align it with Pakistan’s own economic goals for the future.
“We are talking about [a] multimillion-dollar set of investments in different fields, including capacity building of Port Qasim, furthering the networking roads within the eco-system of Pakistan, establishing new dry ports, and taking the logistics connection all the way to the Central Asian countries,” he said.
Alam added that a lot of cargo from Karachi was already being transported to Afghanistan and beyond, but there were many gaps in the market.
“I will focus on addressing those gaps through DP World investment as we are trying to [make] Pakistan’s logistics environment efficient, sustainable, and economically viable for operators and the country,” he continued.
Alam said Pakistan’s geopolitical location would become more accessible through this new investment, integrating the country more strongly with other states in the region.
“Pakistan’s economy can benefit as we will create more jobs during the development [of these] projects,” he said, adding that DP World’s main job was to move cargo from one place to another through better logistics facilities.
“It is a huge undertaking,” he informed Arab News. “We are also [investing] in the railways and road networks, logistics, and coal chain [in Pakistan].”
Alam said DP World would ensure the implementation of international standards through an eco-friendly environment in its projects.
“Our chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem [has been] advocating for the reduction of carbon footprints in our logistics operations to minimize the impact of carbon on the environment,” he continued. “So, we will bring international standards [of] logistics machinery, and vehicles, and do everything to implement the vision of our chairman [in relation to the establishment of an] eco-friendly environment.”
DP World had been doing this in more than 80 countries around the world, Alam said, it would employ the same strategy in Pakistan as well.
“In the short term, we are looking forward to increasing the capacity of Port Qasim so that we can rig in bigger vessels at this port and handle more volumes,” he added. “Another project is improving the road networks and trucking logistics of dry ports in Pakistan.”
Alam added that the projects would create thousands of jobs in Pakistan.
“When big vessels [arrive] at the Port Qasim, [they] will bring more cargo and create opportunities for laborers, technical support people, truckers, ground handlers, dispatch, and others,” he said.
“Because we are going to increase dry ports across Pakistan, these job opportunities will increase in all parts of the country and these are thousands of people you are talking about [who] we will need during this expansion of operations,” he added.
Alam pointed out the UAE had always stood by Pakistan, adding the leaders of the Gulf state had a soft corner for the South Asian state.
“They have helped us in all the humanitarian crises, even [when] we mismanaged our finances, they were always there to help us in some way or the other,” he added.
Alam said it was a tremendous honor to serve a great Dubai-based company and expressed hope that he would build new bridges between the two brotherly nations and economic corridors with the region.