World / Europe

British maritime industry seeks opportunities in China's 'Belt and Road' initiative

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-09-10 23:31

LONDON - Britain and China are expected to improve bilateral maritime cooperation in the "Belt and Road" initiative, chairman of Maritime London Lord Mountevans said Wednesday.

He was among several experts who addressed the 2015 International Shipping Strategy Development Forum, whose theme this year was "One Belt, One Road: China's development strategy -- what it may mean to the UK's maritime industries."

CMA CGM, the third biggest container operator globally, signed a strategic "Belt and Road" project with China Merchants Holdings, to investigate and evaluate together investment opportunities. It became the first overseas company to sign such an agreement with a Chinese company for this strategic project, Michael Parker, chairman of CMA CGM (UK) Holdings Ltd told the forum.

The Silk Road Economic Belt will develop the Central Asian economy, and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will improve maritime infrastructure along the old route. Europe will benefit from the growth of central and maritime Asia and better land transport links across the continent, Clarkson Research Services president Martin Stopford said.

The "Belt and Road" initiative has resonated well with the world because it embodies a community building and development sharing spirit and the world is thirsty for a growth-driven, sustainability-building policy to be coordinated on a global scale, Mao Chun Li, managing director of the China Merchants Group corporate development, told Xinhua.

Ma Hongqi, director of Economic and Information Technology Committee of Shanghai Pudong New Area, told Xinhua that it's the first time that Pudong New Area shipping industry presented on the platform of Britain maritime industry. He called for the British counterparts to explore the opportunities for shipping in Shanghai.

China has been seen as an emerging strength in global maritime industry. According to Clarkson Research Services, China now controls 10 percent of the world fleet, 33 percent of new building deliveries on a compensated gross tonnes basis (CGT) and 38 percent of the global order book in CGT terms.

Britain has a long maritime history and attaches great importance to the maritime sector, Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin said Wednesday at the London International Shipping Week 2015.

According to Britain's Department for Transport statistics, the British maritime industry contributes at least 11 billion pounds (16.9 billion US dollars) to the country's economy annually and supports more than 113,000 jobs and 6,600 businesses.

Maritime London is the promotional body for Britain-based companies providing professional services to the international shipping industry.

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