BEIJING: Global ports operator DP World and a Chinese commodities trading company are partnering to develop a “smart” wholesale and retail traders’ market in Dubai’s Jebel Ali free zone.

70 per cent will be owned by DP World of the joint venture with Zhejiang China Commodity City Group Company (CCC) controlling a 30 per cent stake in the Traders Market project. The project construction will begin in the fourth quarter of 2019 and is expected to be completed within 24 months.

Sultan Bin Sulayem, DP World’s chairman and chief executive said, “This investment showcases our trade-enabling strategy as we look to catalyse trade and the movement of goods through removing inefficiencies and lowering supply chain cost.”

The Traders Market in Dubai will span 800,000 square metres once complete, with the first phase of development covering about 220,000 square metres and an estimated capital expenditure of $150 million (Dh550m).

“The Middle-East/Africa region is critical for the Belt and Road Initiative, and we aim to serve this high-growth market through the Traders Market in Jebel Ali, Dubai,” Zhao Wenge, group chairman of CCC Group, said. “We have chosen Jebel Ali for its efficient infrastructure, business-friendly environment and significant trade with China.”

DP World has touted the Traders Market as the first smart free zone marketplace in the Middle East for retail and wholesale industries.

The project aims to serve the wider Middle East region with a population base of more than two billion. The market will allow traders to benefit from lower supply chain costs by using the infrastructure available in Jebel Ali and Dubai, DP World said.

Source: The National