Autorita’ di Sistema Portuale del Mar Ligure Occidentale (AdSP – Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority) has hosted a presentation by a delegation from the Chinese port of Shenzen. The two ports plan to sign a cooperation agreement on June 5, 2019, at the Transport Logistics in Monaco.
The Port of Shenzhen is a collective name of a number of ports along parts of the coastline of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China, including Yantian, Shekou, Chiwan, Mawan, Dachan Bay, Dongjiaotou, Fuyong and Xiagong.
Speaking at the presentation, AdSP President Paolo Emilio Signorini said that the strategic importance of commercial relations with China were demonstrated recently during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Italy, when a cooperation agreement was signed with CCCC, a Chinese construction company.
During the visit, the AdSP, the Extraordinary Commissioner for the Reconstruction of Genoa and CCCC signed a collaboration agreement with the aim of cooperating in the implementation of the Extraordinary Program of urgent investments for the recovery and development of the port of Genoa following the Morandi bridge collapse in August 2018.
Signorini added China is interested in participating in infrastructure upgrade projects, such as the port breakwater or the new railway connections, also and above all because these interventions will then allow their logistic operators, such as COSCO, to be able to bring greater volumes of goods to Genoa ports.
At a conference, the leaders of the Chinese port presented traffic data, routes and commercial developments. The port of Genoa and Shenzhen (25 million TEUs handled in 2018) have, for years, a solid trade relationship.
Signorini said the aim was to both increase trade between the ports and to rebalance traded with increased exports of Italian products to China. Genoa will soon organise targeted visits of Chinese delegations to its port and above all to the logistic and industrial hinterlands, which also presented tax and customs benefits.
Shenzhen has five LNG terminals with an annual movement of over 13 million tons, a new maritime station that last year moved 350,000 cruise passengers and is able to accommodate cruise ships with a tonnage of over 200,000 tons, but above all it is a hub of global significance for container traffic: “223 international container transport routes pass through Shenzhen, seven of which connect Genoa directly. Between the two ports 110,000 TEUs passed in 2018, while in the first four months of this year (January-April 2019) the number has already reached 36,000 TEUs.
In March 2019, a total of 19 institutional agreements and 10 commercial agreements were signed during the state visit of President Xi Jinping of China to Italy, covering a wide range of themes and industry sectors – all dominated by an overall non-binding agreement for Italy to cooperate with China in the latter’s new Silk Road.
According to the agreement, “Transport, logistics and infrastructure: Both parties share a common vision about the improvement of accessible, safe, inclusive and sustainable transport. The parties will cooperate in the development of infrastructure connectivity, including financing, interoperability and logistics, in areas of mutual interest (such as roads, railways, bridges, civil aviation, ports, energy – including renewables and natural gas – and telecommunications).
The new Silk Road (part of the Belt and Road initiative also known as One Belt, One Road, or OBOR) is a Chinese economic strategy to seek better access for Chinese-made products in European markets, which includes acquiring stakes in ports and other transport facilities, and cooperation agreements with countries along the Silk Road routes.
Since the start of the 21st century, Chinese companies have acquired stakes in some 15 ports in Europe, that handle more than 10% of shipping containers traffic to and from the Old Continent, according to the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The state owned COSCO Shipping Ports and China Merchants Port Holdings have acquired stakes in: Port Said, Egypt; Casablanca and Tangier, Morocco; Istanbul, Turkey; Piraeus, Greece; Bilbao and Valencia, Spain; Marseille, Nantes, Le Havre and Dunkirk, all France; Antwerp and Bruges, both Belgium, and Rotterdam in the Netherlands.