Economy & Business Middle East
empowerME Conversations September 28, 2021

Transforming logistics

By Atlantic Council

In Season 2, Episode 1 of empowerME Conversations podcast, host and Atlantic Council empowerME Director Amjad Ahmad speaks with former UPS President for Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, and Africa Jean-Francois Condamine about the e-commerce boom in the Middle East, promoting sustainability in the logistics industry, and empowering small and medium enterprises to become regional and global exporters.

Beyond the current pandemic, the acceleration of the levels of adoption of e-commerce transactions by UAE residents is a reflection of the ecosystem the UAE has, and continues to develop, making the UAE an e-commerce-ready country for e-commerce growth, development, innovation, and rapid adoption.

Jean-Francois Condamine, former UPS President for Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, and Africa

Key Takeaways

0:00 Intro
1:10 Jean-Francois talks a little bit about the current state of the logistics industry in the Middle East
2:00 Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince launches National Transport and Logistics Strategy
5:05 E-commerce in the region set to be worth $48bn by 2022
6:16 2020 UPS Corporate Sustainability Report
8:55 Jean-Francois explains if the new Saudi strategy is trying to compliment or compete with UAE in terms of positioning in the logistics industry
12:08 Jean-Francois talks about the trends in terms of the e-commerce companies looking to enter the Saudi market, the challenges they face, and if the market is expanding
14:01 Jean-Francois talks about digitalization and how it enables the ease of doing business and facilitation
15:25 Jean-Francois talks about the similar characteristics that the best-emerging markets have other markets could learn from for them to also be good
17:36 Jean-Francois talks about how different economies pivoted and sort of transformed themselves during the pandemic
18:00 Dubai restructures business chambers to lead ‘economic transformation’
19:44 Jean-Francois talks about the role that UPS is playing and the programs that it has embarked on in helping the SMEs expand in the market
20:28 The impact of SMEs on the UAE’s economy
21:24 UPS Women Exporters Program
25:14 Jean-Francois talks about why the SMEs need to be exporting their products outside of their own geography
26:18 UPS Smart Logistics Challenge – AstroLabs
26:45 Jean-Francois talks about why they decided to partner with logistics startups rather than compete with them
29:30 Jean-Francois talks about what they are focusing on in the logistics technologies that they need to pay attention to that could be exciting in the next decade
30:53 Jean-Francois explains if we should expect to see an all-electric lead in the region and why it is important
31:54 Jean-Francois talks about the short term changes that he would like to see in the region pertaining to increase in GDP and economic activities

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The empowerME Conversations podcast features conversations with business and government leaders shaping the Middle East. The podcast sheds light on key opportunities and challenges for companies and governments, and Season 2 will focus on CEOs in the region.

empowerME at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East is shaping solutions to empower entrepreneurs, women, and the private sector and building influential coalitions to drive regional economic integration, prosperity, and job creation.

Related Experts: Amjad Ahmad