Written by Guan Qiuyun / Translated by Qu Wenyuan
On April 19, 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Beihai City, the first stop of his trip in Guangxi. During his visit, he went to the public harbor of Tieshan Port, and learned about the planning of Beibu Gulf Port and the development of the Beibu Gulf Economic Zone.
5 years have passed since his last visit. What has changed in this coastal city? What Guangxi International Beibu Gulf Port Group Co., Ltd. (Beibu Gulf Port Group) has done to respond to President Xi’s request? How can the Beibu Gulf Port Group seize the opportunity of coastal development in the new era?
A striver in the new era
The past 5 years have witnessed the leapfrog development of the Beibu Gulf Port, with the handling volume rising from hundreds of thousands of TEUs to millions of TEUs. The past 5 years also saw a more open country, better interconnected regions and more complex situations. The Beibu Gulf Port Group is committed to being a pioneer in this era when we embrace both opportunities and challenges.
Further opening-up in the past five years. The “Belt & Road” development brings more opportunities for the Group’s opening-up and interconnectivity. Beibu Gulf Port Group is actively collaborating with ASEAN countries and other nations along the “Belt & Road” by operating more flight services and conducting international investment cooperation, writing a new chapter with the ASEAN for the 21st century maritime Silk Road. Thanks to the China (Guangxi) Pilot Free Trade Zone approved by the State Council in 2019 and the Hong Kong, Macao, Guangdong Greater Bay Area initiative in place, the Beibu Gulf Port Group will be a leader in Guangxi’s further opening-up with the outside world by developing its port-related industries.
Unremitted efforts in the interconnectivity in the past five years. The development of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor started in 2017, has attracted the participation of China and ASEAN countries, thus significantly growing the interconnectivity in the China-ASEAN region. The Beibu Gulf Port is increasingly becoming a hub port as it is the most convenient access to the sea in Southwest China. The Group will move forward with determination as it has a bigger dream of becoming a hub port in the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor and an international seaport.
Seizing great development momentum in the past five years. Faced with the new momentum of digital economic growth, challenges of COVID-19 and the dual circulation pattern since 2020, the Group has been actively engaged in the development of a smart port, the COVID-19 containment effort and expansion of the domestic market. A mutually beneficial economic pattern is thus formed.
Be the best in four fields
When President Xi Jinping visited the Beibu Gulf Port 5 years ago, he asked us to construct and operate the port well with the best facilities, technologies, management expertise and service. This is a high hope he had for the Port, and also an ambitious blueprint for the Port to be at the top of the list.
Best facilities improve the port’s capacity. In recent years, we have built the No. 12 and No. 19 Berths in Jingujiang River, completed the construction of China’s first automated container harbor with sea-rail combined transport, and assisted in many landmark projects such as the 300,000-ton oil harbor and the Phase I & II of the east shipping channel expansion. The progress in infrastructure helps open the artery of the ports in Guangxi, ranking Beibu Gulf Port among the top in China in terms of handling capacity.
Best technologies make it a smart port. We apply the Internet of Things, big data, cloud computing, 5G, and other advanced technologies to the operation of the port, and integrate the information and resources by using such technologies as edge commuting and high-precision positioning. The innovative U-shape layout, makes it the first fully-automated smart port with the rail-sea transport mode.
Best management expertise ensures good governance. We have a well-connected corporate governance system covering all subsidiaries. In the meantime, we formulate the Negative List and Approval List to delegate power to subsidiaries, providing a good solution and model for SME governance.
Best service helps write a new chapter. By optimizing the containers shipment routes and integrating the combined transport business, we have had sea connections with Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and ports at all major coastal cities in China. We operate the point-to-point train service to the north of Guangxi and provide tailor-made logistics solutions so that the goods from Guangxi can travel through the ports in Guangxi. Centering around the port and focusing on the port-industry-trade chain, we are now proud to be specialized in “7+1” business including port, logistics, energy and finance.
Guided by the spirit of being the best in the past 5 years, we have laid a solid foundation for future development. And we are now embarking on a new journey of high quality development.
Development opportunities coming from the sea
The year 2022 is the 5th anniversary of President Xi’s visit to Beibu Gulf Port, and the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Group. So standing at the new starting point, how can we forge ahead with new progress? I think we might get the inspiration from the speech of the Group’s President Li Yanqiang at his 15th anniversary development report.
Build the Beibu Gulf Port well. We will build the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor and make it an economic artery connecting south and north, land and sea. We are committed to enhancing the handling capacity of the port and making it a top international hub. By 2025, it is estimated that the port can handle 500 million tons of cargo, 10 million TEUs of containers, and 12,000 land-sea connection trains are in service. We will improve the connection between sea transport and river transport, and the automation level in an effort to build the ASEAN intermodal transport. By adopting the green and low carbon development model, the Beibu Gulf Port will become an intelligent and green port as well.
Manage the Beibu Gulf Port well. “Bearing in mind the bigger global picture, we need to turn challenges into opportunities, and improve ourselves in the economic restructuring. Only by doing so can we address all kinds of difficulties and challenges and manage the Group well.” President Li Yanqiang said.
Operate the Beibu Gulf Port well. The Group will focus on strategic integration of business, so that port logistics business can be connected to industries, logistics and trade freely. We will also streamline and integrate resources, and build risk database and risk early warning mechanism.
The development opportunities are coming from the sea. From today on, the Beibu Gulf Economic Zone will be a jewel in the crown, and the Beibu Gulf Port Group will embrace another good development momentum.