COSCO SHIPPING Ports Limited (“COSCO SHIPPING Ports” or “CSP”), the world’s leading ports operator, today held their ground-breaking ceremony for the CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal during a high-level event at Khalifa Port.
The event also witnessed the signing of a new agreement between COSCO SHIPPING Ports and Abu Dhabi Ports Company PJSC (“AD Ports”), the master developer, operator and manager of commercial and community ports within the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Port of Fujairah and Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD), for the leasing of a container freight station (“CFS”).
The ground-breaking ceremony was presided over by His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Department of Transport and member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council ,H.E Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports and H.E. Ning Jizhe, Deputy Director of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) who also witnessed the unveiling of the ground-breaking plaque as well as the signing ceremony for the new CFS.
Also in attendance were H.E Ni Jian, ambassador of the PRC in the UAE , H.E Ali Obaid Ali Al Yabhouni Al Dhaheri, ambassador of the UAE to the PRC, Capt. Xu Lirong, Chairman of China COSCO SHIPPING Corporation Limited (“COSCO SHIPPING”), Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports and Mr. Zhang Wei, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of COSCO SHIPPING Ports .
The signing ceremony between CSP and AD Ports, for the leasing of a CFS, was held prior to the ground-breaking ceremony and unveiling of the plaque, and was signed by Mr. Zhang Wei and Captain Al Shamisi with other officiating guests on the stage witnessing the signing and delivery of speeches.
H.E. Ning Jizhe expressed his view that, “Khalifa Port is one of the fastest growing ports in the world and an important gateway port in the region, with huge potential and prospect. COSCO SHIPPING Ports is marching another step forward in the port development project with Abu Dhabi Ports. The solid progression of this project writes a new chapter between China and the UAE, in terms of infrastructure investment, construction and service sector, and bears new fruit for the cooperation of The Belt and Road Initiative between the two countries, injecting new energy to solidify and promote China-UAE economic and trade cooperation, thus providing new contributions”.
Speaking on the occasion of the ground-breaking, H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said “Following the guidance and vision of the leadership, Abu Dhabi Ports has played an important role in expanding trading links between the UAE and China, which is now the UAE’s second largest trading partner. The partnership between Abu Dhabi Ports and COSCO SHIPPING Ports to develop the region’s largest container freight station will add a new dimension to UAE/China trade relations and is fully aligned with Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030 to drive growth, attract investment, support economic diversification and create sustainable jobs.”
Capt. Xu Lirong, Chairman of COSCO SHIPPING said “China and UAE’s growing relationship in recent years has created favourable environment and conditions for the cooperation between the two countries in the port and shipping industries. Khalifa Port is an important gateway in Abu Dhabi, an important hub in the Middle East, and a major focal point for ‘Belt and Road’, thus plays a significant role in the shipping industry. The signing of the agreement on CSP Abu Dhabi CFS project will further strengthen the services of the terminal and enhance the trade cooperation between the two countries. Port business is the core resources of COSCO SHIPPING, it is the foundation and strategic support of our global network. The stable development of the port business will bring mutual benefits to our shipping business and other business in upstream and downstream. ”
Mr. Zhang Wei, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of COSCO SHIPPING Ports indicated that “CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal is the first overseas Greenfield project controlled by COSCO SHIPPING Ports. The project encompasses our passion to build our own strategic terminal and our goal to drive the economic growth of the region. COSCO SHIPPING Ports is dedicated to building a highly efficient comprehensive terminal with synergies from port and shipping, a transshipment hub, and a solid services network connecting transportations in the sea, land and air. We believe a successful business model drives economic growth and it is our will to foster the growth of trade and economy in the regions while achieving our own growth; for that we have great expectations and working hard towards it.”
Captain Al Shamisi, expressed his happiness in the ground-breaking ceremony and the signing of the new agreement, and praised COSCO SHIPPING Ports on their decision to take Khalifa Port as a hub for their operations in the region. Commenting on the dual achievements said, “Khalifa Port is considered to be one of the most important and advanced ports in the Middle East, considering its world-class infrastructure, strategic location that connects customers to the rest of the world. Last year, Abu Dhabi Ports signed with CSP, the world’s largest container operator, who chose Khalifa Port as the hub for its operations in the Middle East, and with CSP on board, we expect to raise the annual capacity of Khalifa Port to 6 million TEUs. This marks a significant leap in the expansion of the Port, transfer of goods and reduction of costs. In addition to attracting investors from Eastern Asia, it will increase Khalifa Ports’ competitiveness and ease the way for more partnerships with companies and friends in China and East Asia, which will draw further investments into Abu Dhabi. Our strategy is paying off as business continues to flourish and grow ahead of our competition and we strengthen our grip and positioning as a strong player in the international market place”
In attendance at the event were political and business leaders from the UAE, officers from the Embassy of the PRC in the UAE, representatives from Chinese corporations, construction companies and equipment suppliers, staff from various departments of COSCO SHIPPING and management in charge of COSCO SHIPPING West Asia FZE.
CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal is located along the ‘Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road’ and the shipping hub of West Asia region. COSCO SHIPPING Ports successfully entered into the Concession Agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports on 28 September 2016. The construction and development of the terminal is expected to last approximately one and half years and will commence operations in the first quarter of 2019.
With an annual designed capacity of about 2.5 million TEU and backed by the large shipping fleets of COSCO SHIPPING, CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal will be well placed to be a shipping hub for major international shipping companies in the Upper Gulf Region.
Since the visit of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to China in 2015, the relationship between the two countries has strengthened in a number of areas, most notably in economic and trade relations. A key development has been the commencement of the ‘Belt and Road’ and ‘Maritime Silk Road’ initiatives, which will foster economic growth. China is the UAE’s second biggest import partner behind India. At the same time, the UAE is responsible for one-third of China-GCC trade and one-fifth of Sino-Arab trade.The UAE is considered a gateway to about 60% of China’s exports to regional markets at an annual volume of exchange of 70 billion dollars.
As the world’s leading port operator, apart from the Khalifa Port, COSCO SHIPPING Ports operates a global network across mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Italy, Spain, Belgium and the United State,. The investment and operation of the Khalifa Port should further promote the business cooperation between China and the United Arab Emirates.