Asia port alliance grows in strength

Growing strength: Qingdao Port is one of the newest members to sign up to the CMPA Growing strength: Qingdao Port is one of the newest members to sign up to the CMPA

Malaysia’s Transport Minister has confirmed five new members will join an Asian port alliance to work more closely together to increase trade volume.

The Kemaman Port Authority, the Kuching Port Authority and the Sabah Ports Authority from Malaysia and China’s Tianjin Port and Qingdao Port will join the China-Malaysia Port Alliance (CMPA) bringing the total number of ports to 21.

Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai told the CMPA's second annual meeting at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre that the port alliance will become “An avenue for both countries and our ports to learn and share best practices and knowledge which will enhance operational efficiency and reduce the cost of doing business.”

"We will have a more comprehensive collaboration with ports from the peninsula, Sabah, Sarawak and China now," he told The Star.

He added that the aim was to make Malaysia the logistics hub for the Asean region and to strengthen the ports' infrastructure to increase its cargo-handling capacity. Both countries are also looking to acquire larger trade volume.

The CMPA was established in 2015 to facilitate connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative. It aims to become a platform for ports from both countries to share information and learn from each other.

This includes paving the way for cooperation in various disciplines including port studies, training and apprenticeship, technical assistance, exchange of information, traffic development and promotion of trade services between ports.

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