Aramex builds China operations with new venture

Dubai-based logistics firm forms JV with Sinotrans Air Transportation.
Fadi Ghandour, chief executive officer, Aramex
Fadi Ghandour, chief executive officer, Aramex

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Dubai-based Aramex has formed a joint venture with China’s Sinotrans Air Transportation Development Co as it moves to increase its footprint in lucrative emerging markets.

The Middle East’s largest courier company said on Sunday that the venture had been formed with equal shareholding, without giving further financial details.

The deal “expands and strengthens our operations in China and neighbouring East Asian economies,” Fadi Ghandour, Aramex's chief executive, said in an emailed statement.

“[The deal] opens up enormous new opportunities.”

The joint venture will initially operate out of Sinotrans’ existing Shanghai offices with plans to open additional offices into Beijing and Guangzhou, the statement said.

Aramex last month posted a three per cent rise in third quarter profits to US$13 million (AED48m), as high oil prices and Arab unrest weighed on its growth.

The company was forced to suspend its operations in Egypt during the uprising in January, taking a toll on business, said Ghandour.

"Our operations are experiencing a slowdown due to uncertainties in Egypt and other markets, which has affected business and trade across the whole region,” he said.

The logistics firm said it expects to announce new acquisitions in Central Asia and Africa by the first quarter of 2012.

The company has recently acquired Ireland-based liner agent and freight forwarder Aquaship Agencies to expand its freight capabilities in Europe.

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