As countries and regions continue to prepare for the advent of the emerging new global economy, the city of London in the United Kingdom is looking forward to being in a strong competitive position, following the completion of one of the best and most-modernized ports in the world. The UAE’s DP World has done a great job in constructing the massive London Gateway so far and is on schedule to open by the end of 2013. Their £1.5 billion investment into the creation of the deep-water, high-tech port is expected to bring London back to it’s former glory days, as a leading world shipping port destination.
The London Gateway is modeled after DP World’s flagship state-of-the-art facility in Jebel Ali in the UAE, which is currently ranked as one of the top ten ports in the world. London’s leaders are hoping that they will enjoy the same measure of success in years to come, once their new super-port is open for business. It is expected that the London Gateway will support at least 12,000 jobs when finally open and that number could indeed grow as the port realizes it’s full potential. To date, the construction of the port has generated many thousands of jobs for the city and region already, and has provided a tremendous lift to the local economy.
Recently, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was in the UAE to meet with leading officials. While visitng he took a closer look at the port of Jebel Ali facilities and indicated that he was quite impressed by the modern, efficient structure.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to show the Mayor of London our flagship facility. Jebel Ali port together with the free zone have both supported and driven the growth of Dubai and the UAE over the past four decades. We have modeled DP World’s London Gateway on Jebel Ali, knowing that a modern deep-water port and logistics park within the important London and South East market will bring direct benefits to the wider UK economy.”- DP World Chairman.
Officials are looking forward to the London Gateway being a catalyst for further inward investment into the UK. By bringing the world’s largest ships to the capital, which is Europe’s largest economic zone, it is hoped that the sizable investment will ensure London is once again globally connected to the major trading ports of the world. In doing so, this will make London and the wider UK, more competitive for global imports and exports, reduce costs and eliminate millions of unnecessary road miles from global supply chains.
In recent years, an increasing number of wealthy Gulf sovereign wealth funds and state-owned companies, have been purchasing iconic buildings across London and investing millions of dollars in key infrastructure projects, such as DP World’s port project that will revitalize the city’s shipping industry. At the moment, investors in Qatar own (or have a sizable stake in) The Shard, Harrod’s department store, Chelsea Barracks, One Hyde Park, the Olympic Village as well as the building housing the American Embassy in London. Furthermore, Abu Dhabi owns numerous venues within the Olympic Village and has built a clean energy facility that generates electricity for approximately 20 percent of London’s households.
“When you look at the opportunities in London, there are 18 huge opportunity areas … ripe for development; believe me there’s plenty of room for investors, not just from the Middle East but from around the world.”- Mayor of London.
The Mayor of London, who is hoping to encourage even more investment from the region, recently revealed that London is interested in linking DP World’s port to a (yet-to-be-announced) new airport and that the City has already entered into discussions with organizations to facilitate the project; including Abu Dhabi-owned developer Mubadala and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Motivated by the need to accommodate future growth and development, London’s population is estimated to grow by another 1 million people by 2021 and that is expected to put huge pressure on the housing market and transport infrastructure. This means that encouraging investor confidence and introducing new investment opportunities in the region is not only extremely important to rebuilding the economy, but also to sustaining growth over the next decade; as well.
It looks like New Zealand doesn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to capitalize on the new global economy of the future. The Port of Tauranga, the country’s largest, just opened it’s new expansion of the port and is looking forward to the benefits that will come as a result of all the upgrading. Although there still is some more dredging work to be done to widen and deepen the Tauranga Harbor shipping channels, the project is expected to begin in late 2013. Among the improvements made was a $30 million extension to the terminal’s wharf length, increasing it by 170 meters as well as the installation of a new Super-Post Panamax gantry crane that brings the total number of Terminal container cranes to six. These improvements will allow for larger container vessels to dock and ensure that New Zealand remains in a strong competitive position, moving forward into the future.
“Our ability to cater for larger ships will not only benefit the Bay of Plenty, but also the broader national economy. These investments are vital to ensure New Zealand s exporters can remain competitive globally … We’re now in an excellent position to handle new services and the growing trend to more frequent visits from larger ships.“- Port of Tauranga Chief Executive.
The new global economy is taking shape all around the world. With the advent of the new giant post-panamax vessels, global port cities have had little choice but to upgrade and modernize shipping ports, in order to accommodate the huge container ships. Currently, many of the old global sea-trade routes are being redrawn and are becoming increasingly focused on the ports and regions that have the ability to accommodate the larger shipping vessels. Ports that aren’t able to dock them, simply will be left off the new routes, leaving the surrounding regions in a serious competitive disadvantage.
The Panama Canal Expansion is expected to be complete sometime in mid-2015 and many analysts believe it will signal the “unofficial” start to the new global economy that will be more inclusive and more prosperous than ever before. In fact, with the new emerging consumer markets continuing to grow and contribute to the overall world economy, there are some industry experts who believe that there could indeed be an economic boom, before the year 2020. Countries, regions and investors that are preparing for this global rise in prosperity, have already begun to invest in profitable opportunities that will be the most likely to deliver investment profits, when it finally unfolds. Those that don’t may in effect, have no choice but to watch their future economic prospects sail right on by. It looks like New Zealand will be ready to compete for sure.