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DP World targets inland India with logistics centres

[ AHMEDABAD] Dubai's DP World will spend part of a planned US$1 billion investment in India on new inland logistics centres to help ease problems in transporting goods across the country, the port operator's chairman said on Tuesday.

DP World operates several ports along India's coastline but Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem told Reuters that poor infrastructure and growing demand had created bottlenecks in getting goods from ports to inland areas where most Indians live. "More and more of India has a problem of logistics. Cargo doesn't get to certain areas and if it gets it is delayed. India doesn't need more ports, it needs more production facilities and more ease of connecting," he said.

Sultan Ahmed, who is attending the Vibrant Gujarat investor summit in the western Indian state of Gujarat, declined to give a timeline for the US$1 billion investment but said it would be split between new and upgraded ports and inland projects.

He did not specify which locations in India DP World would look at for the planned logistics centres.

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DP World has spent US$1.2 billion in India to date and operates a major port in Mumbai.

Demand for port facilities has grown in India as the economy expanded, although competition among both foreign and Indian operators is fierce.

The sultan said he was "very bullish" on India but that the government needed to do more to speed up project approvals. "What is crippling India is bureaucracy, what is crippling India is decision-making," he said. "There are projects needed to deal with demand that get delayed."