HK to set up new statutory maritime body

Hong Kong: Hong Kong chief executive CY Leung yesterday delivered his second policy address in which he pledged to further strengthen Hong Kong's position as an international and regional logistics centre.

Leung said that the government will continue to improve port facilities and enhance the efficiency of port operations and seizing the opportunities brought by the growth of trade in mainland China and Asia.

According to Leung, the consultancy study “Enhancing Hong Kong's Position as an International Maritime Centre” has been completed. It concluded that Hong Kong is well positioned to develop high value-added maritime services. It also proposed setting up a new statutory maritime body.

"In the coming year, the government will work out the specific function, structure and funding of the proposed new body and consult the industry. We will then take forward the necessary legislative procedures as soon as possible," Leung said. The shipping industry has been calling for a dedicated shipping ministry for many years.

Leung has been the most proactive supporter of Hong Kong’s shipping industry of the three chief executives who have ruled the territory since reunification 17 years ago. Nevertheless, Hong Kong has drastically lost its primacy in Asia maritime affairs in that period, its container port sliding from top of the ranks to fourth, and the world’s biggest shippers chosing to locate in Singapore rather than Hong Kong.  [16/01/14]

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