‘It’s been a hectic year’ says Elesar Abu Zayed of NAFL at Leaders in Logistics 2019
During his ‘Regional Industry Review & Outlook’ presentation during the Leaders in Logistics 2019 Summit, Elesar Ibrahim Abu Zayed, branch manager, NAFL, summed up the thoughts of many in the industry when he said 2019 had been “a hectic year”, replete with a multitude of challenges.
“It’s been a hectic year, there are a number of challenges with which we’re faced, but the UAE Vision 2021 plan is providing invaluable support to the UAE economy and the logistics industry by default,” he said.
Following a number of years combatting low oil prices and a deteriorating business environment, the region’s economic outlook is finally improving. Oil prices, so critical to the economic fortunes of the GCC, rose almost 20% at one point this year and government economic diversification programs have started to see results in the last year.
As the region continues to pursue political transformation and economic diversification and with the continued rapid pace of urbanisation across the Middle East, the logistics sector is set to play an important role in facilitating its development.
With strong support from governments and authorities to help bring innovation to this sector, as one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the world and as a strategic partner to China’s Belt & Road initiative, the Middle East’s logistics and transport players have a wealth of opportunity to capitalise on today and in the future.
“Efforts to make the UAE the best place to live affect all aspects of society and the economy, from infrastructure and transport to technology and regulations, all of which are becoming more streamlined and convenient from a business perspective,” Abu Zayed added.
This evidenced by the development of Dubai Smart City, EZ Dubai and CommerCity, according to Abu Zayed, all of which are specialist freezones providing a logistics hub for digital brands and the technology and ancillary services providers that support them.
And for its part, NAFL is also doing its best to support the UAE’s logistics sector. The organisation has 380 large and SME members and plays a key role in networking and supporting SME growth in the logistics sector.
“As part of FIATA we have access to more than 44,000 freight forwarders and logistics company members worldwide and NAFL promotes our members business and the UAE as a logistics hub,” he said.