Impact Publications : AirCargo -255
Page 4 • AirCArgo AsiA-PACifiC JUNE-JULY 2018 comment New Hong Kong logistics centre set for Cainiao CAINIAO Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, will lead a joint venture to invest approximately US$1.5 billion (approximately HK$12 billion) to build a world-class digital logistics centre at Hong Kong International Airport. Cainiao will lead the project through its controlling joint venture with China National Aviation Corporation (Group) Limited and YTO Express. The companies hold a 51 per cent, 35 per cent and 14 per cent stake in the joint venture respec- tively. The move forms part of the company’s broader effort to expand and strengthen its global logistics network. Cainiao re- cently unveiled plans to open five hubs in five cities around the world – Dubai, Hangzhou, Kuala Lumpur, Liège (Bel- gium) and Moscow. The new Hong Kong hub will mark another enhancement to this network. It is also part of Alibaba’s commitment to invest more than 100 billion yuan in an efficient smart logistics network that drives 24-hour delivery in China and 72- hour delivery to the rest of the world. Presidential trade moves unwelcome, but we’ll survive LIKE him or loathe him, US president Donald Trump’s decisions and sometimes fluid policy positions have an impact on world trade. And that means whatever POTUS in Washington does, it is rele- vant in Australia, New Zealand and our fellow Asia-Pacific nations. Not just to countries in general, either. A major US trade decision could affect our businesses and our personal wellbeing. POTUS may no longer hold the ‘leader of the western world’ position, but the person in the oval office still wields enormous power. Doubtless Trump does not stare out at the rose garden worrying about a freight forwarder in Sydney, a Customs broker in Perth or a freighter crew moving a much-wanted load across Australasian skies. But when he unilaterally declares a trade war with China or triggers an acrimonious dispute with Canada, we suffer eventually through a downturn in traffic, volatility in business confidence and a slide into the economic doldrums. This is not to say that another global financial crisis is nigh. The Asia Pacific region is well-placed to ride out short-term va- garies of Trump brinkmanship – an old-fashioned term but seem- ingly appropriate for this outside-the-square president. Nor is it likely to trigger a modern-day US depression - especially with tax cuts as a cushion - but when you have major brands begin- ning to worry about supply chain dependability because the coun- try’s leader wants to focus on local rather than global, the resulting uncertainty might become toxic. Trump’s hints about withdrawal from the World Trade Organisa- tion are unlikely to be consummated, but his distrust of rules-based global trade relationships is not just political grandstanding. Meantime, Australia and NZ are marching along with some confi- dence in signing or negotiating free trade agreements that will act as a buffer to US-generated disruption. We’re moving towards ratification of the Trans Pacific Partner- ship Mk II - minus the US - and we’re talking new arrangements with the UK and EU post-Brexit. We’ve also moved closer to Japan, which is showing global leadership in the renewed TPP and other trade arrangements. Even PACER Plus, the South Pacific multi-national trade agree- ment (which hit problems with the last-minute withdrawal of Fiji and Papua New Guinea), is firming up - and with PNG signalling a possible change of mind, it could become the force it was once envisaged. PNG seems to be taking a proactive approach to international trade, talking of FTAs with China, the UK and other partners. It au- gurs well for the region. - Kelvin King Emirates tipped to cut back Aust services temporarily DUBAI-based Emirates is tipped to change flight schedules to Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Auckland over April and May 2019 due to southern runway work at its home hub airport.