DHL Group, German Federal Ministry sign agreement to support e-commerce in Africa

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Giving small and medium-sized enterprises from developing  countries access to global markets -that is the goal of a cooperation between the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the logistics company Deutsche Post DHL Group.  

Over the next few years, the partners want to invest 30 million euros in the digitisation 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.  

Müller said, "The coronavirus 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  digitisation. Nowhere is digitisation progressing faster than in Africa. Some African countries are  already further ahead than Europe - for example, in cashless payment via smartphone.” 

He added, "The Coronavirus 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. Digitalisation can make a big difference  here. Many of our partner countries are already more advanced in digitisation than we are in Germany - for example, when it comes to mobile payment.”

Appel said, “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 globalisation 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. 

GoTrade taps the potential of globalisation in developing and emerging countries 
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 organisations, 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). 

Forth Go-sustainability program of Deutsche Post DHL Group 
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.

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