Reducing trade barriers and reversing the global trend towards protectionism is key to increasing growth, both globally and in the Middle East, says Jamal Majid bin Thaniah, vice-chairman at DP World.

Speaking to delegates on 27 November at the Middle East Maritime conference in Dubai organised by Seatrade, he said the current low rates of global growth were “not acceptable”.

“[There must be a] move away from protectionism,” he said. “To push up world growth rates will be require collaborative efforts.”

Thaniah went on to speak about how, following the 2008-09 global crisis, there was a problem of port overcapacity in the GCC region. As ports in the Middle East resume their expansion plans, boosting trade volumes in the region will be essential to ensure overcapacity issues do not become a problem again, he said.