Public-Private Partnerships Key for Promoting Trade in Emerging Economies

  • Sultan Bin Sulayem and President Macky Sall discuss need for enhanced infrastructure to promote globalization

“Whatever its size or power, no country today can exist autonomously,” said President of Senegal Macky Sall speaking on the worries of a slow-down in trade on the back of protectionist sentiments in the United States.

“It would be a mistake to fall back on our own economies because economies are interdependent. Capital, goods and people are constantly moving from one country to another, and there need to be rules to protect these investments,” President Sall added.

The comments were made at a plenary session entitled ‘The Value of Trade, Growing Economies, Improving Lives’ on Day One of the fifth World Government Summit (WGS 2017). Moderated by international journalist Richard Quest, the panellists included President Sall and Sultan Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World.

On the predicted decline of globalization, Bin Sulayem said, “I believe that these anti-globalization sentiments are a phase, and I do not think this will affect our business in the perceived manner.”

On the topic of fair trade, President Sall said, “The economies of the United States and Africa are not the same. Trade policies need to be adopted to the levels of development, and there should be an approved system of rules governing these policies.”

The importance of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) was highlighted in the discussion by both Bin Sulayem and President Sall, as a means for investment into improved infrastructure of Africa.

Bin Sulayem said, “In our business, the biggest danger is the inefficiencies in supply chain. We need to have better infrastructure to connect the Port of Dakar into the many landlocked countries in Africa. This is where I see an opportunity for growth, and is something that the Public sector not the Private sectors can do on their own. We need to witness transparency and good governance from African countries to qualify for safe investment in infrastructure.”

President Sall added, “There are several African countries that are landlocked, and they need more interconnectivity with the ports and the markets. This foreign investment can be developed in Africa through Public-Private partnerships.”

Speaking on the newly launched strategy agency that focuses on a plan for Emerging Senegal, President Sall said, “Our strategy is based on three different pillars that are centred around structurally transforming the economy through infrastructure, energy and agriculture in order to achieve inclusive growth, while focusing on the state and role of law. We have been able to achieve over 2.6% growth in 2015-16 and hope that we will be able to share this strategy with others as well.”

Bin Sulayem addressed the relative stagnation in world trade by stressing that over 75% of DP World’s business growth is in emerging markets. He said, “What we need to do is to remove inefficiencies. Today if I see 1% growth in the GDP of Senegal, for example, it translates to the number of containers being transported there multiplied by three!”

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