Dubai’s new international trade plan includes the establishment of network lines to 200 new cities to further cement the emirate’s role in the global trade according to DP World group chairman Sultan Bin Sulayem, who is also the chairman of Ports, Customs, and Free Zone Corporation and chairman of Dubai International Chamber of Commerce during the online Dubai Customs Consultative Council meeting.

As one of the world’s biggest port operators, DP World said last month it is developing the road linking Ethiopia to Berbera in Somaliland into a trade and logistics corridor, following the signing of an agreement with the country.

DP World has a strong presence in 80 ports and terminals worldwide and is looking to increase its investments in the ports and logistics sectors in Africa and Asia – a move that is expected to feed into strengthening Dubai’s trade network.

“We plan to invest up to $1bn over the next 10 years to develop supply chain infrastructure along the corridor. This will include dry ports, silos, warehouses, container yards, cool and cold chain depots, freight forwarding and clearing activities,” Mr. Bin Sulayem, said.

Dubai’s non-oil external trade grew by 10 percent in the first quarter to Dh354.4 billion ($96.5bn). Exports grew by 25 percent to Dh50.5bn, while imports rose by 9 percent to Dh204.8bn. The value of re-exports was up 5.5 percent to Dh99bn, Dubai Media Office said last week.

The emirate’s resilience in the face of the pandemic is also encouraging many companies to set up their headquarters in Dubai “to benefit from our advanced technological infrastructure and good governance”, Mr. Bin Sulayem added.

Dubai’s economy is expected to expand by 4 percent this year, according to government projections released in December.

“In Dubai Customs, we aim to expand trade activity and open new lines targeting Dh2 trillion volume.”