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Key players to secure supply chain at forum

By CAO YINGYING| China Daily| Updated: November 1, 2021


Qingdao Port, operated by Shandong Port Group, bustles with the loading and unloading of containers. [Photo/CHINA DAILY]

The 2021 Qingdao Land-Sea Linkage Forum made important results last week as part of the host city's efforts to spur the construction of an international financial innovation center for shipping.

Shandong Port Group handled 1.4 billion metric tons of cargo and more than 31 million standard containers last year, with growth rates 4 and 5 percentage points higher respectively than the average of coastal ports in China.

Over the first three quarters, the group handled 1.15 billion tons of cargo and 25.59 million standard containers, increasing 6.8 and 11.4 percent respectively compared with same period last year.

According to the local government, the container throughput of Qingdao Port, which is operated by SPG, surpassed Busan Port in South Korea last year.

As a result, the shipping hub status of major ports in Shandong is becoming prominent.

Ports in Shandong are among the key bulk commodity distribution centers in China. Their combined throughput of crude oil, iron ore, bauxite and chemical fertilizer rank first nationally.

At the forum, three important indexes were published by the China Economic Information Service and SPG.

One of them, the International Shipping Hubs Competitiveness Index-North-East Asia Report (2021), compiled by the China Economic Information Service and supported by Baltic Exchange, made its debut, aiming to provide an important reference standard for global shipping rules.

The two other indexes focused on annual shipping data about bulk cargo and trade exchanges among members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, aiming to provide forecasts and trend research.

At the forum, a land-sea linkage investment fund was launched. Supported by Shandong province, Qingdao city, Qingdao West Coast New Area and ABC International, the 10-billion-yuan ($1.6 billion) fund will be used for the development of the marine economy. It covers logistics, smart port, navigation, intelligent manufacturing and navigation services sectors.

A total of 19 agreements were signed at the forum. Among them, SPG partnered with ports, railways and other customers to promote the upgrade of the logistics industry and ensure the stability of the international supply chain.

The group has also cooperated with industry-leading companies to launch clean energy projects and promote a transformation toward intelligent ports.

The group's affiliated consulting and research institution was revealed at the forum. The institution will use the resources of the group and carry out cross-industry research to construct a new sustainable development model which integrates port, industry and city.

Besides Shandong Port Group, Qingdao's Shibei district and COSCO Shipping Qingdao Co set up the Shandong international aviation exchange. Also, Shandong Port International Trade Group and Japanese trading group Itochu set up a joint venture, Shandong Gangyi Commercial Development Co, at the forum.

The forum promoted exchanges and cooperation among countries, ports and companies involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, said Qingdao Mayor Zhao Haozhi.

Zhao said the local government will continue to expand the land-sea linkage, promote the development of the port industry and enhance modern shipping and port services.