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DP World port deal set to boost UAE’s trade with Romania

DP World's terminal at Constanta DP World
DP World already runs a container terminal at the port of Constanta
  • Dubai’s DP World and PCFC to help modernise port of Constanta
  • Romanian government seeks to turn Black Sea port into European hub
  • DP World has run a container terminal at Constanta for 18 years

Dubai’s DP World has signed a deal to develop infrastructure at the Black Sea port of Constanta, in a move designed to boost bilateral trade relations between Romania and the UAE.

The agreement between the Romanian government, Dubai’s Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) and port operator DP World will also expand cooperation in trade and investment between the two countries, officials say.

Romania’s Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure aims to develop a roll-on/roll-off (RO-RO) terminal to boost cargo vessel traffic at the port, which has become a key gateway for trade into Eastern Europe.  

Under the agreement, PCFC will work with DP World to modernise and develop the infrastructure on the port’s Pier II-S. DP World will manage the project and provide the investments in physical and electronic assets required to help turn Constanta into a strategic centre for imports into Europe. 

This includes a state-of-the-art X-ray scanner at the RO-RO terminal, significantly reducing the time needed for physical inspections and boosting its efficiency.   

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, chairman of PCFC and group chairman and CEO of DP World, said: “We look forward to delivering a world-class, integrated supply-chain solution that will enhance Constanta Port and Romania’s status in the region. This agreement is a testimony to the strength of the relationships we build with our partners around the globe.”

His comments come just weeks after DP World Constanta marked its 18th year of operations. DP World operates a 1.5 million TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) Constanta South Container Terminal, the largest container terminal on the Black Sea. 

DP World’s contract to operate the terminal runs until 2049. DP World provides a full rail coordination service with three rail lines, each 600m long, capable of handling three complete 30-wagon trains simultaneously.

In addition, DP World is pushing ahead with plans for a new road-rail intermodal terminal in Aiud, Romania, scheduled to be operational in the first half of 2023. 

The terminal will be linked by rail to Constanta, establishing a new export route for the key Transylvania region in central Romania, which has traditionally lacked a robust infrastructure for exports.

DP World has a portfolio of 78 operating marine and inland terminals supported by over 50 related businesses in 40 countries across six continents.

The latest OECD Economic Survey of Romania, published earlier this year, said the country’s economy had rebounded strongly from the Covid-19 crisis. 

“The pandemic hit Romania hard, but the government managed to deal with the economic consequences swiftly and comprehensively, helping to bring about a rapid rebound in economic activity,” OECD secretary-general Mathias Cormann said.

The recovery is set to continue. The survey projects Romanian GDP growing by 4.5 percent in 2022 and 2023, after 6.3 percent growth in 2021. 

Productivity in the Romanian economy currently sits at about two-thirds of the OECD average. The survey said an improved business environment and a strong rule of law environment helping to attract investment would be key to boosting growth and income levels further.