According to recent data provided by the World Bank, the MENA region stands to add $1.6 trillion to its economy over the next thirty years through digitisation. Spurred on by the global response for governments to slow the progress of COVID-19, the rise of lockdowns helped to illustrate the potential of going digital and accelerated adoption rates with record numbers switching to cashless payments, digital finance, and e-commerce.
According to Statista, digital payments are expected to continue growing to $8.26 trillion by 2024 – almost doubling in volume in just four years. Beyond the B2C economy, B2B also recognised the importance for secure continuity and growth, resulting in an equal effort by companies to digitise their workflows, helping to cut costs, while mitigating exposure to the pandemic.
At AD Ports Group, we’ve long recognised the benefits of digitalisation, having started our journey over a decade ago. However, the embodiment of our efforts towards digitalisation can be found in ATLP, the Advanced Trade Logistics Platform.
Inaugurated in May 2020 under the auspices of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, the ATLP is the single window that digitally facilitates Abu Dhabi’s trade through sea, land, air, industrial and free zones, while enhancing the customer and stakeholder experience.
By creating a unified ecosystem that consolidates the entire value chain, ATLP engages all stakeholders involved in the trade and logistics process from customs authorities and investors to shipping agents and terminal operators. This allows for a fast and transparent process of managing and expediting trade that aligns with standards and recommendations from global organisations.
Spread across seven categories, ATLP supports sea, air, land, rail, economic zones, inspection & clearance, and value-added services with a variety of digital services. As a result, the benefits passed on to our customers mean fewer delays, which ultimately reduces costs, while providing fast and direct access to information, meaning a clearer grasp on supply chain movements, less uncertainty, and lower trade barriers.
Recently, the inclusion of Fujairah’s trade and logistics ecosystem within the ATLP represents an advanced step towards strengthening its role as a major trade hub for the GCC, India, the Red Sea and East Africa, while the launch of digital airfreight solutions in March, will streamline new air cargo efficiencies to and from all of Abu Dhabi’s five airports. The latter also highlighting the value of a fully digitised, fully integrated logistics ecosystem by reducing the amount of paperwork required by 90 percent.
Furthermore, we recently announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Kuwait General Administration of Customs to establish a new virtual trade corridor between the UAE and Kuwait, under the supervision of Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi (ADDED).
The virtual trade corridor will be developed by Maqta Gateway based upon the Advanced Trade & Logistics Platform (ATLP), enabling the establishment of new policies, procedures and systems integrations to further simplify and facilitate cross-border trade.
From a macroeconomic point of view, ATLP is also a winner for Abu Dhabi as an entity under the supervision of the Department of Economic Development. By consistently evaluating our progress, we’ve been able to improve the application of laws thereby helping to unify policies and regulation efforts, resulting in increased efficiency and solutions that provide an enhanced quality of information and higher levels of security.
ATLP helps in reducing CO2 emissions, and with 500+ services and growing, we look forward to continuing our support of the regional drive towards digitisation and to a faster, safer, more cost-effective, and profitable future.
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