Iran seeks to develop aviation industry as sanctions are lifted
In a move to restore its aviation industry after international sanctions were lifted (some of which have been in place for 40 years) Iran has laid out a blueprint of regulatory reforms. But despite talk of a major aircraft order from Airbus legal, financial and regulatory barriers remain as Iran seeks out foreign investment.
Peter Harbison, chairman of the Centre for Aviation, an Australian consultancy, said: "We are seeing massive opportunities in Iran.”
The country will only be able to develop its aviation industry with adequate funding, organisation and skilled manpower. It has been reported that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has outlined a purchase of least $20 billion worth of Airbus jets from Europe as a test case for post-sanctions trade due to the sums involved and state-of-the-art financing used in the jet market.
Completing the Airbus deal depends on the approval of the US Treasury, which must approve sales to Iran of jets with more than 10 percent US parts. Even if this is achieved, Iran must work out how to pay for the jets.
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Washington has said Iran may still not use its financial system, raising potential difficulties for jet deals denominated in dollars. If Iran pays for its aircraft in euros, any money subsequently converted into dollars may create problems.
A senior Iranian official said Tehran was in touch with the US Treasury to clarify the status of such transactions. Iran, meanwhile, faces warnings that western banks may hold off from backing aircraft and other deals until rules are clear.
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Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.