Xiamen to develop world shipping hub to boost ties with Taiwan port cities
|September 24, 2012||Posted by Ocean Shipping Communication China under Port News||
THE groundwork has begun to develop a global shipping hub in Xiamen, a special economic zone in East China’s Fujian province, in a bid to promote its shipping, logistics and tourism industries with the establishment of the Southeast China International Shipping Centre expected to be operational in 2020.
The project was initially proposed by the Fujian provincial government in 2010 and the centre is aimed at gathering important shipping resources and to create a comprehensive shipping services system at the Port of Xiamen.
Given the city’s location on the western side of the Taiwan Straits, the shipping centre will also strengthen ties with port cities in Taiwan, such as Kaohsiung, Taichung and Keelong, said Cai Liangya, director of the Xiamen Port Authority.
Xiamen celebrated the 30th anniversary of its establishment as a special economic zone last year and the State Council released a report including guidelines for setting up an international shipping centre in the city. The central government also gave substantial support for the city’s industrial transformation.
Under the plan, the centre’s core framework and services will be in place by 2020, and by then, the shipping centre will be able to deal with a variety of businesses, such as international transit, purchase, allocation and distribution, ship leasing, customs clearance, and offshore outsourcing.
“The shipping hub will become the country’s fourth international shipping centre,” Mr Cai said. “Together with Shanghai, Tianjin, and Dalian, Xiamen will help enhance the country’s shipping intelligence network,” Mr Cai said.
Fujian province’s party chief Sun Chunlan said building the shipping centre is about more than just creating a world-class harbour. “The project concerns regional development. The shipping centre will not only involve shipping resources but also human resources, capital, technology and information. In addition to the tertiary sector of the economy, secondary industry will also be spurred by the creation of the shipping hub,” he added.
Preferential policies have been introduced to advance the process of building the international shipping centre. According to the Xiamen Port Authority, inbound imported cargo will be free of duties and Domestic cargo entering the zone will be designated as exports and relevant taxes will be refunded.
In a major move to develop Xiamen into an international shipping centre, the Xiamen Shipping Exchange officially became operational in June. It serves as a platform for buying, selling and leasing ships and the exchange will act as a clearinghouse for shipping information and a provider of other services, such as cargo trading, personnel training, and trading agency services.
Also in June, a maritime arbitration centre was set up in Xiamen allowing the city to serve as an international venue for resolving global shipping disputes. In addition, construction of the Xiamen Qianchang Railway Logistics Park started during the 16th China International Fair for Investment and Trade, which was held from 8 to 11 September. Other developments include the construction of the country’s first large luxury cruise liner, a cruise terminal and a shipping business centre.
The transformation of Xiamen into an international shipping centre is expected to reap initial results by 2015, and by then, the cargo throughput of Xiamen port will reach 200 million tonnes with container throughput reaching 10 million TEU.
In the first four months of this year, Xiamen recorded a container throughput of 2.06 million TEU, up 11.8 per cent year on year and a throughput tonnage of 52.4 million tonnes, up 5.9 per cent. Last year, Xiamen handled 6.5 million TEU, ranking seventh among Chinese ports and 18th in the world.
Source: China Daily