Berth of a new era as Dalian rides wave of expansion

By ZHANG XIAOMIN | China Daily | Updated: 2017-04-06 08:32

The world's largest container ship MOL Triumph berthed on Wednesday at the Dalian Port Container Terminal in Dalian Jinpu New District, Northeast China's Liaoning province.

It is the world's first container ship with a capacity of over 20,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units).

"Currently, we have built a batch of world class berths, including a 450,000 metric ton crude oil terminal and a 400,000 ton ore terminal," said Zhang Yiming, president of Dalian Port.

"No matter how big the ship is, we have a suitable berth," he said.

Taking advantage of the preferential policies for the newly-launched China (Liaoning) Pilot Free Trade Zone as well as the Belt and Road Initiative, Dalian Port can better serve the global supply chain and promote the transformation and upgrading of port services, said Zhang.

China launched seven more free trade zones on Saturday to accelerate the country's opening-up and boost the Belt and Road Initiative.

The Liaoning pilot FTZ is composed of three sectors, namely Dalian, Shenyang and Yingkou, covering an area of 119.89 square kilometers.

The Dalian sector, which covers an area of 59.96 square kilometers, embodies several industrial parks, including a State-level high-tech zone-Dalian Jinpu New District, a bonded area, and a bonded harbor area.

Guo Ping, a professor with the Law School of Dalian Maritime University, believes the Liaoning pilot FTZ will play an active role in promoting international trade and international transport with more facilitation measures.

"It is a significant opportunity for Dalian to promote the construction of 'four centers and one cluster' (Northeast Asia international shipping center, international logistics center, international trade center, regional finance center, and modern industry cluster district)," said Lu Lin, deputy mayor of Dalian.

Lu said the Dalian sector will focus on the development of ports and logistics, finance, trade, advanced equipment manufacturing, new and high technology, circular economy, and shipping services. It will also promote the construction of the Northeast Asia international shipping center and logistics center, and form a strategic highland for opening-up and cooperation facing Northeast Asia.

The areas under special customs supervision will focus on exploring institutional innovation for the convenience of trade, as well as carry on bonded services for processing, logistics, so on.

For areas that are not under special customs supervision, it focuses on exploring the reform of the investment system, as well as promote the transformation of manufacturing industry, the innovation of finance, and the opening-up of the service industry, said Lu.

Since September, when the Liaoning pilot FTZ was approved, Dalian has moved to create a sound business environment.

At present, the Dalian sector has copied and promoted 102 innovative measures of Shanghai and other pilot FTZs.

"The Dalian sector will closely adhere to the national strategy, further emancipate the mind and be the first mover. It will gradually build into a free trade zone with high-end industrial agglomeration, investment and trade facilitation, excellent financial services, efficient and convenient regulation, and a good legal environment," said Lu.

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