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Beijing’s involvement in Djibouti dispute creates Chinese puzzle for MBR

The scene was set on 4 April when the London Court of International Arbitration ordered the Djibouti government to pay at least $533m in compensation for breaching the exclusive rights of Doraleh Container Terminal SA (DCT) to operate container handling services in the east African entrepôt. It seems to be a classic commercial litigation battle. In 2006, DCT had signed a 30-year concession to be Djibouti’s exclusive container terminal operator. The company is 33% owned by DP World and 66% by state-owned Port de Djibouti, but it is DP World which has effective control.

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