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07/07/2022 – Logistics / Freight / AD Ports / SEG / MoU / JV / Trade / Uzbekistan

AD Ports Group and SEG ink deals to develop Uzbekistan’s logistics, freight and food trading infrastructure
AD Ports Group and SEG ink deals to develop Uzbekistan’s logistics, freight and food trading infrastructure

The new joint venture and MoU look to accelerate trade and promote food security for the Central Asian nation. 

Abu-Dhabi-based AD Ports Group, a leading facilitator of global trade, logistics, and industry, has launched a joint venture with SEG, one of the largest oil & gas companies in Uzbekistan, to open new logistics and freight businesses. The UAE business group has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a food trading hub in Uzbekistan.  

At a signing ceremony in Tashkent, the two companies signed the key agreements to support the collaboration, which aims to develop logistics infrastructure and services that will enable Uzbek and SEG’s refined products to reach global markets at competitive costs.

The signing ceremony also saw the announcement of AD Ports Group’s office in Uzbekistan, the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange listed group's first in the Central Asia region. The office will oversee the projects announced within the agreements signed in Tashkent.  

Prestigious roll-call of attendees

The ceremony attendees from the UAE included: H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi (Minister of State for Foreign Trade); H.E. Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa (Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development – ADDED); H.E. Dr Saeed Matar Al Qemzi (UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Uzbekistan); Captain Mohammed Juma Al Shamisi (MD and Group CEO of AD Ports Group); His Excellency Saeed Al-Bahri Salem Al-Ameri (Director General of Abu Dhabi Department of Agriculture and Food Safety); and Hamad Al Hammadi (Executive Director of Energy and Utilities at ADQ). 

Attendees from Uzbekistan included: Ilkhom Makhkamov (Minister of Transport of Uzbekistan); Aziz Voitov (First Deputy Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan); Sherzod Khodjayev (Deputy Minister of Energy of Uzbekistan); Kakhramon Yuldashev (Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Uzbekistan); and Bakhtiyor Fazilov (Chairman of the Board of SEG).

Transforming the logistics of a double-landlocked nation

Under the joint venture agreement, the two companies will create a partnership for logistics and freight forwarding services including intermodal freight forwarding, road, rail and air transport services, the development of inland ports and container depots, warehousing and other logistics infrastructure, contract logistics and custom clearance.

Furthermore, the joint venture will deploy new technology and specialised processes to address the challenges caused by Uzbekistan’s double-landlocked geographical location, surrounded as it is by five additional landlocked nations. 

MoU to create food storage and distribution hub

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed to support the development of an integrated food storage and distribution hub to enhance Uzbekistan’s food trade across global markets and drive Central Asian food security. Under the MoU, the two companies will collaborate on mutual opportunities relating to food storage, transportation, and security, and will explore related end-to-end solutions for the project.

Based upon the ‘Regional Food Hub – Abu Dhabi’ currently under development in KIZAD, AD Ports Group will share their expertise and provide best practice guidance toward the new project. The food hub will collaborate with Rungis International Market, the wholesale fresh food market, to bring buyers, sellers, logistics players, consolidators, and distributors together to expand access to fresh food and boost exports for Uzbekistan.

The hub is planned to be operated near Samarkand International Airport by a subsidiary of SEG - MARAKAND LOGAIR.

Unlocking Uzbekistan’s wider economic potential

H.E. Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Chairman of AD Ports Group, said the new agreement would support the direction of the UAE’s “wise leadership” and would strengthen the firm’s strategic partnership with Uzbekistan. “We are delighted to be able to deploy the expertise and resources of AD Ports Group to address the core logistics challenges and opportunities present within the country,” he remarked. 

“We believe that we will be able to contribute to unlocking the wider economic potential of the nation by building new supply chains and opening new trade routes,” he continued. “Our capacity to build one-stop economic hubs and logistics centres will be put to good use through the creation of a dedicated food hub, as well as the creation of inland ports and depots.”

Transforming trade and logistics for Uzbekistan

Capt. Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group, said the major new agreement would help transform trade and logistics for Uzbekistan – “a fast-growing economy and rich natural resources”.

“With our expertise, we will develop multi-modal transport connections that will bring goods to market faster and more efficiently,” he enthused. “Our strategic investment in infrastructure and capabilities will help support international companies by opening new points of entry into Central Asian markets, and ensuring the highest levels of service and support. In line with the direction of the UAE’s leadership, we are positioning Abu Dhabi as a global leader in logistics and industry,” he added.

Creating new development opportunities 

Bakhtiyor Fazilov, Chairman of the Board of SEG, added that the new agreement would have significant impact on the economic progress of his nation, creating new jobs and new opportunities for trade and development. “Through working with AD Ports Group, we will establish new trade corridors that will be facilitated by advanced digital services and supported by world-class logistics facilities, including intermodal freight forwarding,” he informed.

“Uzbekistan is a major producer of key exports including oil, natural gas and gold, as well as being the second largest exporter of cotton in the world,” he continued. “Through these new joint ventures, we will be able to bring a wider range of products to more markets around the world, transforming our trade potential.” 

The UAE and Uzbekistan signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding (MoU) to promote the exchange of knowledge, expertise and successful experiences in June 2022. The expanded strategic partnership with Uzbekistan covers 27 sectors, including the financial sector, education sector, economy, government leadership, food security and agriculture, ports and customs.

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