Home> Ningbo

Forum enhances global maritime connectivity, sustainability

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: June 28, 2024 L M S


The 2024 Maritime Silk Road Port Cooperation Forum is in full swing in Ningbo, Zhejiang province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The 2024 Maritime Silk Road Port Cooperation Forum in Ningbo, Zhejiang showcases a vibrant hub of international maritime collaboration.

The three-day event, held from June 26 to 28, has grown into a highly influential gathering since its inception in 2015. Over the years, it has attracted over 4,000 participants from over 400 companies and organizations from more than 50 countries and regions.

This year's forum focuses on supporting the construction of a new pattern of comprehensive opening-up, promoting resilience in the port and shipping industry, and enhancing the functionality of port and shipping hub nodes.

Arsenio Dominguez, Secretary-General of International Maritime Organization (IMO), highlighted in his video address to the opening ceremony the forum's alignment with IMO's vision for a safer, more reliable, and environmentally sustainable maritime industry.

Featuring an opening ceremony and main forum, a high-level roundtable, four specialized forums, and numerous supporting activities such as exhibitions, business promotion, cooperation negotiations, and training seminars, this year's event retained its "1+1+4+N" framework to offer a platform for engaging discussions and knowledge-sharing among industry leaders and experts.

A key highlight was the Maritime Silk Road High-Level Roundtable Meeting, where global maritime leaders and regulatory bodies convened to address pressing industry issues, explore emerging trends, and collaborate on strategies for sustainable growth. The meeting culminated in the adoption of a "Joint Declaration" outlining shared commitments to open cooperation, sustainable development, and enhanced connectivity in the maritime sector.

The "Joint Declaration" underscored the importance of equitable opportunities for all participants along the Maritime Silk Road, emphasizing the need for collaborative efforts to promote trade facilitation, sustainable development, and resilience in the face of challenges like climate change and unforeseen events.

Throughout the main forum on June 27, participants engaged in in-depth discussions, shared insights, and unveiled a series of collaborative outcomes, including blueprints for the development of international shipping centers, analysis reports on port operations, and insights into global port development trends.

Tao Chengbo, chairman of Zhejiang Seaport Group and Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group, shared Ningbo Zhoushan Port's upgrading journey under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Ningbo Zhoushan Port, the world's largest port in terms of annual cargo throughput and the third-largest in annual container throughput, has been continuously enhancing its service efficiency in recent years. In March, a report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) revealed that Ningbo Zhoushan Port ranked second globally in the Port Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (PLSCI), which indicates a port's integration in to global liner shipping networks. 

Tao stated that Ningbo Zhoushan Port occupies a critical geographical location, boasts high-quality port facilities, and has a high cargo capacity. To develop an advanced logistics system and strengthen the ability to allocate global economic and trade resources and shipping services, the port aims to achieve three major transformations: expanding the "handling port" into a strong "logistic port", building the "distribution hub" into a "trading port", and developing the "industrial port" into a "service port".

During the side event of the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) held during the forum, Ningbo Zhoushan Port announced its membership in IAPH.

Founded in 1955, IAPH is a global non-governmental organization committed to promoting the development and collaboration of the port and shipping industry. With a wide range of members covering most major ports worldwide, IAPH is an important voice in the international maritime sector, actively contributing to the green and sustainable development of global ports and more efficient operations.

By joining IAPH, Ningbo Zhoushan Port will be able to participate more effectively in the formulation of international port standards and best practices, providing more opportunities for information exchange and cooperation among international ports.