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Sunset for Hong Kong shipping hub aspirations?

Sunset for Hong Kong shipping hub aspirations?

Hong Kong: The Fragrant Harbour, whose heritage is intertwined with shipping and trade, has been told in no uncertain terms by Beijing to forget about shipping and focus instead on high-end logistics.
In an interview on the front page of the South China Morning Post Zhang Xiaoqiang, deputy chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, said container terminal development should be focused on Guangdong province, not Hong Kong.
"Retaining Hong Kong's status as an international shipping centre means moving everything made in Guangdong to Hong Kong ports. This increases the time and cost of transporting the products," he said.
Mr Zhang is in charge of Hong Kong and Macau affairs in the commission, a high-powered agency under the State Council that is responsible for formulating strategies on macroeconomic management.
Hong Kong lost its top billing as a container port to Singapore in 2005. This year Shanghai will overtake it too and Shenzhen is not far behind. Moving a container from nearby manufacturing centre Dongguan costs US$300 more than exporting out of Shenzhen.
A local maritime industry body echoed similar sentiments to Zhang earlier this year, with no less an influential voice than CC Tung, OOCL chairman, saying that there was now no need for a tenth container terminal in Hong Kong.  [22/06/07]


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