Middle East Trade & Logistics

It’s been a year of upheaval in the Middle East, and the outcome — regime change — is sparking optimism among trade analysts that some markets will become major growth markets for global trade. Nowhere is that more true than in Egypt, where the country’s new leaders are pursuing a more populist approach than their predecessors, who enacted a series of reforms that deregulated foreign trade, modernized banking and financial regulations, and reduced corporate taxes. And there’s still a chance that the United States might offer Egypt the opportunity to negotiate a free trade agreement.

Other countries are growing as well, in some cases becoming critical logistics markets. Companies such as DB Schenker, TALKE Logistics and Kuehne + Nagel are pumping millions of dollars into Saudi Arabia, and the government is funding major warehousing and transportation projects, including the $8 billion Prince Abdul Azis bin Mousaed Economic City. The United Arab Emirates, meanwhile, emerged over the last 20 years as the region’s main logistics hub, with Dubai Logistics City and the Jebel Ali Free Zone among the world's most innovative projects. But other emirates, including Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, also are investing heavily in infrastructure.

Special Coverage

Panama-Suez Canal comparison
Container shipping lines are shifting more of their all-water services from Asia to the U.S. East Coast to the Suez Canal route, instead of sailing through the Panama Canal.

News & Analysis

22 Jul 2013
Rapidly expanding Saudi Arabian Airlines released a new online service to improve procedures for shippers and forwarders
25 Apr 2013
DP World’s traffic declined 7 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, reflecting the sale of stakes in container terminals and lower volumes in all key markets except the Americas and Australia.

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Commentary

With the Cosco Asia the target of an unsuccessful "terrorist" attack on Aug. 31 while transiting the Suez Canal, the global trading and international policy communities need to pause and reflect on the consequences of a successful armed attack on the canal, a critical artery of world trade.