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DHL CEO Frank Appel argued against protectionist rhetoric in his speech at his company’s annual general meeting this year.

"The future is global," he said. "Anything else is a misconception. If you build new barriers, you will not be successful in the long term. Walls are not the solution. We want to make tomorrow better than today. To achieve this, we need to grow together even more."

Appel was likely responding to the possibility of imminent trade wars between the US and China, and the US and Europe, due to US President Trump’s hiking of tariffs, which he has done ostensibly to boost domestic manufacturing and production.

Frank Appel speaks at the DHL annual meeting
Credit: Deutsche Post DHL Group

The US marked 1,300 Chinese products for a tariff increase of 25%, following earlier tariffs already applied to aluminium and steel. China responded by announcing a 25% increase on 106 US goods, including soybeans, orange juice and aircraft.

Appel predicted that trade will continue to grow despite the trade wars—and said that DHL is on track to meet its financial goals for 2020.

Key to the company’s continued growth, he said, was the growth of e-commerce.

"Logistics is the backbone of e-commerce. And we make it really simple. From placing a pick-up order to tracking the current status of an item through to payment."

DHL estimates that 2.1 billion people around the world will be shopping online by the end of the decade.

(Source: Air Cargo News)

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