Agility Logistics will focus on organic growth to expand its Asia business and meet rapidly increasing demand, according to one executive.
“Asia is now our biggest region where we employ the most people, and it’s where we will concentrate our investments,” said Essa Al-Saleh, president and CEO of Agility’s Global Integrated Logistics business group.
Agility purchased a string of forwarders and logistics companies in China in 2007 and 2008 to boost its international and domestic reach, but Al-Saleh said further expansion in Asia would not come from more acquisitions.
“We have been in Asia since for a long time, and we will continue to invest, but we will do so organically rather than by looking for acquisitions,” he said.
Al-Saleh believes Asian-linked trade and intra-Asia trade will continue to boom in the years ahead, driven by a common faith in free trade across the region.
“There have been a number of successful FTAs in Asia and by removing barriers they have had a multiplier effect in terms of trade,” he said.
“We have a number of high-tech customers, as well as customers from other vertical sectors, who are based in Asia, they manufacture there and they supply Asia markets, and they can do all this with few restrictions.
“We see intra-Asia trade as one of our biggest growth market opportunities as it is already a large part of our business.”
He welcomed the planned creation of an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. If it proceeds according to the latest blueprint, it will see the dismantling of non-tariff trade barriers and give businesses the ability to submit one set of documents across the ASEAN bloc.
“The fundamental principle and belief in our organization is that less the barriers there are — whether that is customs, duties or regulations — the more trade flourishes,” Al-Saleh added.
“It’s very positive for consumers also because the more barriers there are, the more cost, time and resources that are needed, which increases the cost to the consumer and reduces trade volumes.”
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