The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and Deutsche Post DHL Group have announced their intentions to invest 30 million euros in the digitization of customs and trade processes, the promotion of e-commerce and low-emission logistics in cities. The cooperation will focus on Africa. A corresponding agreement was signed today by Federal Minister Gerd Müller and Frank Appel, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL Group.
Federal Minister Gerd Müller: “The corona crisis and the lockdown have disrupted supply chains in developing countries. Millions of companies are fighting for survival. Right now we have to keep economic cycles going. But bureaucratic customs procedures and corruption are hampering intra-African trade. This is where we work together with Deutsche Post DHL Group: With a new digital system, we are helping medium-sized African companies to handle customs completely digitally. We are starting in Morocco, Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. We are also creating new sales markets worldwide via new e-commerce platforms. All this accelerates trade, creates transparency and enables enormous leaps in development. We place particular emphasis on training and the promotion of women as entrepreneurs. And we are deliberately focusing on digitization. Nowhere is digitization progressing faster than in Africa. Some African countries are already further ahead than Europe – for example, in cashless payment via smartphone.”
“The Corona crisis is cutting trade relations in developing countries and plunging an additional 115 million people into poverty this year alone. Right now we have to keep global economic cycles running and ensure that the poor also benefit from it. Digitalization can make a big difference here. Many of our partner countries are already more advanced in digitization than we are in Germany – for example, when it comes to mobile payment.”
Deutsche Post DHL Group CEO Frank Appel: “Cross border trade creates prosperity, improves lives and connects people – but in many regions there are still major hurdles. Together with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development we are working decisively on removing those hurdles. Merchants who previously sold their goods regionally get access to customers around the world. For this purpose we also started our new sustainability program GoTrade. The program engages especially in developing countries which have not yet benefited from globalization as much as others.”
A reduction of trade barriers through the use of digital solutions is to be tackled first in Morocco, Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Trade barriers, such as bureaucratic, non-transparent – and thus often corruption-prone – customs procedures, hit developing countries particularly hard and make it more difficult for them to access world trade. BMZ and DPDHL Group will also continue their exchange on projects on green hydrogen and synthetic fuels.
The partnership is to be implemented primarily through the develoPPP.de program through which the BMZ promotes entrepreneurial initiatives in developing and emerging countries that contribute to sustainable development on the ground. DPDHL Group will bear at least 2/3 of the costs of all measures.
The agreement signed today is part of DPDHL Group’s new group-wide sustainability program “GoTrade”. The program uses DHL’s logistics expertise to help small and medium-sized companies with cross-border trade. In cooperation with public sector partners, such as national governments and multinational organizations, the program also initiates projects that help speed up customs clearance, reduce delays at borders and generally reduce the costs of cross-border trade.
The aim of the initiative is to promote sustainable economic growth in the countries. In doing so, Deutsche Post DHL Group is making an important contribution to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As part of its sustainability initiatives, Deutsche Post DHL Group is fully committed to achieving the SDGs – with the Group’s “Go programs” as well as the purpose of connecting people and improving lives. GoTrade is the fourth and youngest member of the Go programs after GoTeach (career opportunities for young people), GoHelp (disaster management) and GoGreen (climate protection). These programs are part of the Group’s sustainability agenda focusing on the environment, social responsibility and responsible corporate governance.