Written by Huang Lixia / Translated by Xie Zongming and Chen Zhiying
Since the advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative and the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (hereinafter referred to as “the New Land-Sea Corridor”), Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as Beibu Gulf Port Group) has followed the trend of the times to open up and develop. It has also utilized the public platform of the China-ASEAN Expo (hereinafter referred to as the CAEXPO) to show its charms to the world.
With the upcoming 18th CAEXPO, the reporter of the China-ASEAN Panorama Magazine learned from the CAEXPO Secretariat that an exhibition themed the New Land-Sea Corridor will be set in the 18th CAEXPO. At that time, an opening Beibu Gulf Port Group with new features, new achievements and new highlights will be displayed to the world.
New Land-Sea Corridor boosts development of the Belt and Road
In 2019, the construction of the “New Land-Sea Corridor” officially became a national strategy and the state clearly proposed to build Beibu Gulf International Gateway Port. In 2021, China’s State Council issued the Outline of the National Comprehensive Three-Dimensional Transportation Network Planing. According to the Outline, Beibu Gulf Port was listed as an international hub port together with 10 ports such as Shanghai Port, Shenzhen Port and Guangzhou Port, achieving an improvement in its positioning.
The operation of Qinzhou Railway Container Center Station and the dedicated railway line of Tieshan Port in Beihai marks the completion of the “last-mile” of the New Land-Sea Corridor sea-rail intemodal transport, realizing full coverage of inbound railways in important port areas and “seamless connection”; The Qinzhou Port East Channel is open to 100,000-ton container ships; The Phase I and II Adjustment Project of the East Channel Expansion of Qinzhou Port was started in July 2020 and would be fully accelerated in 2021... At present, the maximum navigation capacity of the Beibu Gulf International Gateway Port has reached 200,000 tons, and the construction of 300,000-ton wharves and channels is being accelerated which means the navigation of 200,000-ton container ships and 300,000-ton bulk carriers will be realized in 2022.
These achievements are inseparable from Guangxi’s efforts in building the Beibu Gulf International Gateway Port. In recent years, Guangxi has accelerated the construction of the New Land-Sea Corridor and gained new opportunities to promote China-ASEAN connectivity with the help of the CAEXPO.
In 2017, the construction of Southbound Channel opened a new chapter for the New Land-Sea Corridor. At the 14th CAEXPO, enterprises from Guangxi, Chongqing, Guizhou, Gansu and Singapore jointly pressed the “cooperation fingerprint” on the stage, and the landmarks of the five places in the Southbound Channel lit up one by one, showing a multi-dimensional and multimodal transport pattern of the Southbound Channel integrating sea, land, air and network.
Beibu Gulf Port Group has played an important role in building the Southbound Channel. In May 2017, the train from Chongqing Western Logistics Park to Guangxi Beibu Gulf Port was successfully put into trial operation, realizing the two-way connection of the Southbound Channel for the first time. The whole operation time of the line is less than 50 hours, and the shortest time is about 36 hours, which saves more than 50% of the time compared with the original ordinary railway transportation and more than 80% of the time compared with taking the Yangtze River water transportation route, showing great advantages in logistics.
Those who are like-minded are not far from mountains and seas. The New Land-Sea Corridor links the Silk Road Economic Belt in the north, and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor in the south. It integrates the “Belt” and “Road”, forming a complete circuit for the Belt and Road through the western China.
“Two Countries, Twin Parks” shows fruitful achievements
In 2020, Beibu Gulf Port Group signed an agreement to operate the Muara Fish Landing Complex, another milestone project based on the cooperation between Beibu Gulf Port Group and Brunei government. It’s also another breakthrough in the construction of “Brunei Guangxi Economic Corridor” (BGEC).
Under the framework of the BGEC, in 2017, Beibu Gulf Port Group jointly established Muara Port Company Sdn Bhd (MPC) in Brunei to be responsible for the operation and management of Muara Port container terminal and bulk cargo terminal. Since then, operation efficiency of the terminal and service level have been significantly improved, the logistics cost has been gradually reduced, and the regional competitiveness of Muara Port has been significantly improved.
In the same year, the day before the opening of the 14th CAEXPO, H.E. Mr. Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei, visited the Brunei Muara Port exhibition hall, and listened to the operation situation of the Port container terminal after taking over by the joint venture for half a year and the systematic construction and planning scheme of the new port area and supporting industrial park in Muara Port. Sudan showed satisfaction to the operation situation of the Port container terminal, highly recognized the planning of the new port area, and hoped that the MPC could build Muara Port into a regional hub port as soon as possible.
In the 14th CAEXPO, Muara Fish Landing Complex invested by Beibu Gulf Port Group, Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park (MCKIP) and Kuantan Port made their presences, highlighting the positive contribution and unique advantages of Beibu Gulf Port Group in integrating into the Belt and Road construction. Among them, MCKIP and Kuantan Port, together with China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park (CMQIP) were displayed in the exhibition hall themed “Two Countries, Twin Parks”, effectively publicizing the investment environment, location advantages and admission policies of the park.
Again in 2019, MCKIP and CMQIP collectively joined in the 16th CAEXPO. The exhibition hall of “Two Countries, Twin Parks” mainly showed the achievement of the two parks’ construction and introduced the settled enterprises, which offered updated information about the two parks in different aspects. In the exhibition, 8 enterprises settled in MCKIP were exhibited. Enterprises in tire manufacturing, recycled paper manufacturing, and NPK fertilizer manufacturing showed up with their product samples. All this demonstrated the fruitful result of capacity cooperation between China and Malaysia.
Supported by Chinese and Malaysian government and Sustained by the operator companies, the construction of “Two Countries, Twin Parks” has seen remarkable achievements. Up to now, the MCKIP has constructed 8 km2 of lands into use. The accumulated completed investment is RMB 1.3 billion yuan with 10 projects signed in total. The confirmed investment reached RMB 24 billion yuan, including 2 projects in production, 2 projects in construction and 5 projects ready for construction. The accumulated completed industrial investment is about RMB 12 billion yuan. The industrial park has created 15,000 temporary jobs and 5,000 permanent jobs and help increase the throughput of Kuantan Port by 18 million tons.
Grand event provides new opportunities
The CAEXPO has been promoting the connectivity between China and ASEAN as always, setting exhibition halls themed the New Land-Sea Corridor for consecutive years and holding series of trade promotion events, so as to construct the “fast lane” of the corridor. Though challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the New Land-Sea Corridor exhibition hall of the 17th CAEXPO was still a bustle. 109 companies from 9 provinces such as Chongqing, Qingdao, and Guizhou showed up in the exhibition. As the gateway of the corridor, the exhibition hall themed Beibu Gulf International Gateway Port was first revealed in the B1 Hall of the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Nanning, It took up 500 m2 of space, in which the Beibu Gulf Port Group was one of the attractions.
During the 17th CAEXPO, three highlight projects, namely the Malaysia-China Kuantan International Logistics Park project of Beibu Gulf Port Group, the strategic cooperation project of ApacCold International Supply Chain Limited, and the project about biomass energy were signed. The Framework Agreement on Cooperation signed by the China Communications Construction Co., Ltd. was also worth mentioning, for it promoted the investment in constructing Malaysia-China Kuantan International Logistics Park, achieving new breakthroughs in receiving investment and cooperation from overseas and state-owned enterprises. It marked the new stage of complementary and mutual beneficial cooperation.
The 18th CAEXPO is themed “Sharing Opportunities Created by the New Land-Sea Corridor, Building the China-ASEAN Community with a Shared Future”. In the themed exhibition of the New Land-Sea Corridor, there will be an exhibition area specially for the Beibu Gulf International Gateway Port. As the company operator of the Beibu Gulf Port, Beibu Gulf Port Group will again show the results of their cooperation with ASEAN countries, their potential of stable and fast development, and the determination and confidence in constructing the Beibu Gulf International Gateway Port and the New Land-Sea Corridor in accordance with the national strategy for development.
The master plan of the Beibu Gulf International Gateway Port exhibition area is slowly unveiled, revealing the scene of giant freighters braving the waves and splitting the tide. Behind the surge and vapor, the Beibu Gulf Port shines like a diamond on the skyline. This year’s Beibu Gulf Port exhibition will comprehensively show the achievement and long-term planing of the port in terms of constrcuting the intelligent port and sea-rail intermodal transportation. The blue engine roars loud into the ocean. Let’s look forward to its new journey. Bon voyage!