Hong Kong pledges maritime growth as it launches its Posidonia offering, By James Brewer
Hong Kong Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung has underlined the determination of the Special Administrative Region to bolster its contribution to the global maritime industry.
The minister was speaking at Posidonia 2014, where visitors to the Hong Kong Pavillion were led by the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Shipping Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis.
Prof Cheung said that Hong Kong SAR government is considering setting up a statutory body to drive the further development of the maritime sector.
He said: “The success of Hong Kong as Asia’s world city and an international maritime centre is underpinned by our strategic location at the doorstep of South China, our many institutional strengths, our global connectivity, and our close ties with the Mainland of China.
“But we will not rest on our laurels. If Hong Kong is to strengthen its position as Asia’s premier maritime centre, we must strive for even better services to our clients.”
Prof Cheung noted that Hong Kong has recently set up a new Maritime and Aviation Training Fund worth about €10m, partly to nurture more home-grown maritime professionals to strengthen the fleet’s competitiveness.
Hong Kong is home to a cluster of shipowners who own and manage about 9% of the world’s merchant fleet, and of maritime professionals from some 700 shipping-related companies.
At the end of April 2014, 2, 342 ships with a total gross tonnage of 87.8m were entered with the Hong Kong Shipping Register, an 8% increase in tonnage from a year ago.
The register’s offering is being enhanced with expanded one-stop shop services for ship registration and related procedure, strengthening its pre-registration quality control system and electronic services.
Hong Kong in 2013 handled some 22.4m teu. Hong Kong Port is served by 380 liner services per week connecting to some 550 destinations worldwide. To meet future demands, said Prof Cheung, “we are taking forward a dredging project to deepen the approach channel to enable the new-
The opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Pavilion was supported by the Hong Kong Maritime Industry Council, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, and Invest Hong Kong.
The minister said: “As Secretary for Transport and Housing, my mission is to work for the city’s liveability, connectivity and mobility. To this end, we are embarking on a number of major transport infrastructure
He invited the maritime community to the Fourth Asian Maritime and Logistics Conference to be held in Hong Kong on 18 and 19 November 2014. The conference is expected to attract more than 1, 700 attendees from 30 countries.