NAVI MUMBAI: Global trade enabler DP World has achieved a major milestone with the ceremonial laying of the foundation stone for the Free Trade Warehousing Zone (FTWZ) project.

The foundation was laid by the Honourable Union Minister for Road Transport Highways & Shipping, Shri Nitin Gadkari, at India’s premier trade gateway, Jawaharlal Nehru Port.

The $78 million FTWZ project is the second investment under the Hindustan Infralog Private Limited (HIPL) joint venture between DP World (65%) and the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) (35%). This venture was created to invest up to US$3 billion in ports, logistics and related sectors across the Country. It follows the acquisition last year of a 90% stake in the multimodal logistics company, Continental Warehousing Corporation (Nhava Sheva) Ltd.

The Nhava Sheva Business Park is under development on 44 acres at JNPT’s Special Economic Zone (SEZ) under a long-term concession of 60 years. The facility is expected to be operational by 2020, positioning India as a global trading hub and supporting the Government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.

Attending the ceremony were Shri Nitin Gadkari, Honourable Minister of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways, Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation; Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra; Shri Sanjay Sethi, Chairman of JNPT; Shri Rizwan Soomar, CEO and MD, DP World Subcontinent; along with dignitaries from the Indian Government, senior members of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, DP World and the Indian trading community.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World said, “Today is an important milestone for us, and we thank the Honourable Shri Nitin Gadkari for laying the foundation stone of the Nhava Sheva Business Park. We are grateful for the opportunity to build the Free Trade Warehousing Zone in this strategic location. On this project we will leverage our more than 30 years of experience developing free zones and economic zones around the world, working closely with governments to create business-friendly environments. The FTWZ and our network of ports & terminals and logistics infrastructure will connect our customers with domestic and international markets.

Our investment will contribute to the region’s economy by connecting business from our global network, creating domestic employment opportunities and enabling world trade.”

The FTWZ’s strategic proximity to India’s largest container gateway – Jawaharlal Nehru Port, the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor, gives it direct access to global and domestic markets. It will offer long-term advantages to domestic and global traders and manufacturers by enabling reliable and fast movement of cargo and improving the effectiveness of the supply chain.

POSTED BY Daily Shipping Times.