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Achieving prosperity through trade

Deutsche Post DHL Group and German Development Ministry will promote e-commerce in developing countries and emerging economies


Press release of 14.10.2020 |

BERLIN/BONN – Helping small and medium-sized enterprises from developing countries gain access to global markets – that is the goal behind the cooperation between the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the logistics company Deutsche Post DHL Group.

Over the next few years, 30 million euros is to be invested in digital solutions for customs and trade processes, promoting e-commerce and developing low-emission logistics for cities. At least two thirds of the investments will be funded by the Deutsche Post DHL Group. The regional focus for this cooperation is Africa. The arrangement was sealed in an agreement signed today by Federal Development Minister Gerd Müller and the CEO of the Deutsche Post DHL Group, Frank Appel.

German Development Minister Gerd Müller said: "As a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis and the lockdown, delivery and supply chains have been disrupted in developing countries. Millions of businesses are fighting for their survival. Now, especially, we need to keep economic activities going. Bureaucratic customs procedures and corruption make it more difficult, however, to engage in intra-African trade. This is where we come in, in partnership with the Deutsche Post DHL Group: With the help of a new digital system, medium-sized African businesses will be enabled to complete all necessary customs formalities digitally. We are starting in Morocco, Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. In addition, we are giving them access to new global markets via new e-commerce platforms. All these measures will speed up trade, create transparency and act as a springboard for development. It is especially important to us that there is an emphasis on training and on promoting women as entrepreneurs. And we are making a conscious decision to focus on digital technologies. There is nowhere in the world where these technologies are moving faster than in Africa. Some African countries are already more advanced than Europe - for example when it comes to making cashless payments using smartphones."

CEO of the Deutsche Post DHL Group Frank Appel said: "Cross-border trade creates prosperity, improves lives and connects people, but in many regions there are still huge barriers to be overcome. Working together with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development we are making a determined effort to break down those barriers. Traders who have been selling their goods in regional markets until now will have access to customers all over the world thanks to GoTrade. This programme is particularly aimed at developing countries. So far they have not benefited as much from globalisation as other countries have."

The scheme, which involves using digital solutions to break down barriers to trade, will initially be launched in Morocco, Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire. Trade barriers like customs procedures that are bureaucratic and opaque - and hence often susceptible to corruption - hit developing countries particularly hard and make it more difficult for them to engage in global trade. In addition, the BMZ and DHL will continue their exchange of thoughts on projects concerned with green hydrogen and synthetic fuels.

This partnership will essentially be implemented as part of measures under the develoPPP.de programme, which the BMZ uses to promote entrepreneurial initiatives in developing countries and emerging economies aimed at contributing to local sustainable development. DPDHL will be responsible for at least 2/3 of the costs of all the measures.

The agreement signed today is part of the Group-wide sustainability programme GoTrade, an initiative of DPDHL. The programme uses the logistics knowhow of DHL to help small or medium-sized enterprises get involved in cross-border trade. In addition, in cooperation with partners from the public sector such as national governments and multinational organisations, projects are being initiated that will help speed up the completion of customs procedures, reduce border delays and generally lower the costs for engaging in cross-border trade.

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