Deutsche Post DHL Group and the German Government intend to give small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) located in poor countries better access to global markets. Jointly, the public-private partners intend to invest 30 million euros to achieve this goal.
At the same time, DHL branded a special ‘Thank you plane’ to show the integrator’s appreciation to its employees for their outstanding contribution during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis.
The best way to foster SMEs in developing countries is giving them a key which enables them to open the doors to the markets of industrialized nations or economic blocks such as the EU, or NAFTA
in North America. This is even more necessary since the pandemic has interrupted or even completely cut economic ties between emerging countries and wealthier regions located mostly north of the
equator, plunging an additional 115 million people into poverty in 2020 alone.
This accounts predominantly for Africa, where hunger and malnutrition are spreading at fast pace again after years of tentative progress and welfare. Therefore, Africa is the main target area of the joint initiative announced today (14OCT20).
Millions of companies are fighting for survival
In a joint release, both partners assure their commitment by announcing investments of 30 million euros to up digitalization in Africa, promote e-commerce activities, and support low-emission logistics initiatives within larger cities.
On the occasion, German Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Müller (Conservatives) stated: "The corona crisis and the lockdown have disrupted supply chains in developing countries. Millions of companies are fighting for survival.”
Therefore, it is paramount to keep economic cycles going. However, bureaucratic customs procedures and corruption are hampering intra-African trade, the politician criticized. To offer alternatives, his Ministry teamed up with Deutsche Post DHL Group. “With a new digital system, we are helping medium-sized African companies to handle customs issues completely digitally,” this way bypassing bureaucratic hurdles and preventing corruption.
The project is starting in Morocco, Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast. “We are also creating new sales markets worldwide via new e-commerce platforms,” he announced. All this translates into 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 digitization.” Nowhere is digitization progressing faster than in Africa. “Some African countries are already further ahead than Europe - for example, in cashless payment via smartphone,” the politician acknowledged.
New program GoTrade
In his response, Deutsche Post DHL Group CEO, Frank Appel stated: “Cross border trade creates prosperity, improves lives and connects people – but in many regions there are still major hurdles. Together with the Ministry, 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.” This specific program engages especially in developing countries which have not yet benefited as much as others from globalization.
300 euros each
In a parallel move, DHL branded a Boeing 757 freighter with the inscription “Thank You” complemented by a rainbow, and thus expressing the company’s appreciation to its staff while transporting shipments on routes across Europe. As recognition of the employees’ remarkable commitment to keeping supply chains running during the pandemic, DHL will pay each of its employees a one-off bonus of 300 euros, no matter where he or she is based.
Second best employer - worldwide
“The pandemic has tested frontline companies such as DHL Express like never before, and we’re proud that our employees have risen to the challenge. Despite the pandemic still affecting our lives, and the safety of our employees remaining a top priority, they insist on being part of the solution to support communities and bolster global trade”, says John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express. “This spirit is the result of our culture of recognition and is a key driver for our outstanding employee satisfaction. I’m very proud of our initiatives that foster the compassion, courage, and commitment of our teams. People are at the heart of our company. That was true for the time before COVID, it is true now, and will be true in the future.”
Prior to this announcement, the international research and consulting institute, Great Place to Work® and FORTUNE have recognized DHL as being the second-best place to work of all examined companies around the world. In their 2020 employer ranking, both consulting firms recognize the extensive investments and implementations of various initiatives to create a positive, motivating, and appreciative working atmosphere in more than 220 countries and territories.
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