Xiamen grows trade along Maritime Silk Road

2020-09-10 18:20
Fujian's project bolstering the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road has achieved progress in promoting shipping, trade and logistics among countries and regions along the historical trade route, officials said on Tuesday at a forum during the ongoing China International Fair for Investment and Trade in Xiamen.

The Fujian provincial government started to organize the Silk Road Maritime International Cooperation Forum as a major event of CIFIT last year, aiming to strengthen cooperation with countries and regions along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to achieve high-quality development.

Fujian is a hub of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road due to its historical contribution to the ancient maritime trade route and its current status in developing cooperation with countries and regions involved in the Belt and Road Initiative.

In December 2018, the province launched its Silk Road Maritime project in Xiamen, which appeals for exchanges and cooperation in the construction and operation of sea channels as well as the high-quality development of ports.

From January to August this year, 62 water routes named after the Maritime Silk Road accommodated about 1,600 trips and handled 1.42 million containers, covering various important ports in East Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe and Africa, according to Zhao Long, vice-governor of Fujian province.

Zhao added that the Silk Road Maritime Alliance, part of the project, has attracted 183 global partners so far, including companies involved in the sectors of shipping companies, logistics companies, trade and manufacturing as well as research institutes and industrial associations. South-Korean shipping company Hyundai Merchant Marine, Shandong Port Group, the Port of Gdansk in Poland and the Belt and Road Initiative Institute of Xiamen University have all become members.

"We need joint efforts from home and abroad to take part in the construction of the Port of Fujian to optimize the layout of Silk Road shipping routes and promote global logistics," Zhao said.

The project centering on the Maritime Silk Road is also working on providing more efficient and less-costly shipping transportation services for ports and water routes in Fujian, in order to achieve highly efficient performance and seamless connection among marine supply chains.

A series of service standards for port, transit and sea-rail combined transport for routes of the projects have been issued since 2019.

"The overall customs clearance time for both imported and exported goods has been reduced by more than 60 percent and 80 percent respectively at Fujian ports within two years," Zhao said. Fast-service routes were also launched this year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to shorten the time it takes for shipping and cargo inspection.

Jens Eskelund, vice-president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, expressed the importance of shipping logistics in ensuring the normal operation of the global supply chain facing the ongoing pandemic, adding that trade will be an essential driver for the recovery of global economy.

According to a blue book of the Maritime Silk Road released during the event, the project has contributed to economic exchanges and cooperation among countries and regions along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Xiamen Port, which has set up an office in Vietnam, will continue to look for business opportunities with overseas ports including Vung Ang in Vietnam, Sines in Portugal, and Davao in the Philippines.
[ Web editor:Wu Jianhan, Robin Wang ]