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Automotive, Transport & Logistics

DP World wins latest judgement in Hong Kong Court over Djibouti concession

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

DP World has been in litigation with China Merchants Port Holdings in Hong Kong since 2019 over the unlawful interference with its rights in Djibouti.

During this time, China Merchants has unsuccessfully sought to move the case to the courts of Djibouti.

Ruling means DP World can finally move to a full hearing on the merits against China Merchants before Hong Kong Courts.

DP World has won the
latest in a string of court rulings, as it defends its rights as shareholder and
concessionaire in Djibouti’s Doraleh Container Terminal.

The Court of Appeal of Hong Kong has dismissed the latest request by China
Merchants Port Holdings seeking permission to file a second appeal before the
Court of Final Appeal, against its previous decision that DP World’s suit
against the company should be heard before Hong Kong Courts, and not the courts
of Djibouti.

DP World and joint venture company Doraleh Container Terminal are bringing
multi-billion dollar claims against China Merchants alleging that it induced the
government of Djibouti to expel DP World from the country and hand over the
Doraleh terminal to China Merchants. China Merchants investments in other ports
and free zone projects in Djibouti, in breach of DP World’s exclusivity rights,
will also be examined.

China Merchants surprisingly argued that the case should be heard by the
Djibouti courts, despite Hong Kong being its home jurisdiction. The High Court
of Hong Kong agreed with DP World’s arguments that the case should proceed in
Hong Kong and ordered China Merchants to pay its legal costs. The Court of
Appeal dismissed an appeal against that decision, and has now refused to grant
China Merchants permission to file a second appeal before the Court of Final

The Hong Kong court ruling follows a ruling in January 2022, by the London Court
of International Arbitration (LCIA) against the Republic of Djibouti, awarding
interim damages of US$ 200 million for damages caused over the period between
for the period 23 February 2018 to 31 December 2020. That was the eighth
decision by an international court or tribunal in favour of DP World in its
ongoing dispute with the Republic of Djibouti, and total damages due to DP World
now amount to US$ 686.5 million, plus accruing interest, while the Concession
itself remains legally in force.

The Doraleh Container Terminal is the largest employer and biggest source of
revenue in Djibouti and has operated at a profit every year since it opened.

DP World is a leading provider of worldwide smart end-to-end supply chain
logistics, enabling the flow of trade across the globe. With a portfolio of 295
businesses in 78 countries across six continents, with a significant presence in
both high-growth and mature markets, the company enjoys strong relationships
with governments around the world, working in partnership to strengthen
economies through investment in infra-structure and the implementation of smart
trade solutions.

Source: DP World