The Maritime Silk Road Port International Cooperation Forum was held several days ago in China. This was the second edition of the event, which brought together representatives of the most important ports of Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
Europe’s representatives included ports such as: Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg, Bremen, and Zeebrugge. Gdansk was also present among the active participants of the forum, represented by President of the Board, Lukasz Greinke.
The second edition of the forum aimed at presenting the opportunities for cooperation between China and the countries situated along the so-called New Silk Road, named the largest investment programme in China’s history and developed in order to activate trade between China and the Old Continent.
During the forum, representatives of individual ports, both Asian and European ones, presented their maritime potential, stressing the distribution functions of each port complex, important not only on the Euro-Asian scale.
During his speech, the Port of Gdansk’s President of the Board presented Gdansk’s location-, logistics-, and distribution-related advantages and its significance, both current and future, for the region of East-Central Europe.
It is a fact that since the moment the conditions of the so-called access infrastructure, roads in particular, were considerably improved in Poland, the country has increased its chances of becoming – along with its largest seaport, the Port of Gdansk – an important distribution hub in terms of transit handling, mainly for the countries of our southern and eastern base.
As the Eurostat data reveals, trade between Poland and China keeps growing. Over recent years, i.e. starting from 2009, foreign trade between the two countries has increased by as much as 50%, that is more than a million tonnes, which in practice means an annual average increase in trade of about 7%.
Gdansk plays a considerable role here, as it is estimated that annually about 40% of this exchange passes through the quays of the Port of Gdansk, which gives the Chinese side a genuine basis for perceiving Gdansk as an attractive location for potential investments. This, in turn, coincides with the concept of the New Silk Road, where the Chinese side has repeatedly, publicly emphasised that it expects submissions of specific investment offers for consideration and potential implementation, in order to meet the fundamental requirements accompanying the Silk Road, that is enhancing the economic links between both parties.
Moreover, we cannot forget the fact that Gdansk is the port which has the largest duty free zone in Poland, which is an advantage that cannot be overestimated, particularly for clients from outside the EU importing goods to Poland. At the moment, the DFZ covers an area of 58 ha. However, the possibility of expanding it further to include the port’s areas with the greatest development potential has not been ruled out. This creates real chances for attracting the interest of Asian entrepreneurs in locating their businesses here, which would ultimately generate added value in Gdansk.
The Port of Gdansk’s visit to China organised with the support of the Polish Embassy in Shanghai was the opportunity to attend numerous meetings with the representatives of Chinese ports and logistics companies already transporting goods between Asia and Poland, as well as those for whom this direction seems to be of interest.
The Polish delegation’s stay in China and their active participation in the forum was yet another step by the Port of Gdansk on the path to implementing one of the principles adopted as part of the “Port of Gdansk’s development strategy till the year 2027”, that is strengthening the port’s hub functions and its logistical significance in Europe.
As a result of the visit, several companies from the industry have already scheduled visits to the port, showing interest in the Port of Gdansk and its potential, both in terms of logistics and investments.
rel (Port of Gdansk), photos: Port of Gdansk