Business / Companies

China Merchants, Summa to build Zarubino Port

By Yang Ziman in Beijing and Liu Mingtai in Changchun (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-19 07:53

China Merchants Group, the State-owned transport, finance and property conglomerate based in Hong Kong, is to take part in the construction of Russia's Zarubino Port, according to a report on Sputnik News.

The group is seeking tax and tariff preferences in the building of the port, which is near to Russia's border with China, Sputnik said.

China Merchants is said to have signed an agreement of intent to build the port with Summa Group, Russia's largest transport and logistics company and Zarubino's developer, in May last year during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit held in Beijing.

A call by China Daily to China Merchants' press office was not returned on Wednesday.

Founded in 1872, China Merchants is believed to have built 34 ports in 14 countries.

Zarubino is an ice-free port just 18 kilometers from the border with China.

It is connected by road to Hunchun, a county-level city in Jilin province.

The port's projected annual cargo-handling capacity is 60 million tons. It is expected to focus on grain, container traffic and alumina.

A year ago, Summa Group and the Jilin government also signed an agreement to build a logistics center in Hunchun. Total investment on that project is estimated at $3-3.5 billion, with Summa funding $1-1.2 billion of the total. It is expected to begin in three months, with the first phase to be completed by 2018.

China Merchants Group deputy general manager Hu Jianhua agreed in March to work closely with the Jilin government to strengthen its contact with Russian enterprises.

Yu Xiao, dean of Northeast Asian Studies at Jilin University, told Xinhua that Zarubino Port's development will raise northeastern China's involvement in the Belt and Road Initiative.

"Its construction helps further open up the Changchun-Jilin-Tumen Development Zone in Jilin, which is being developed to strengthen the region's links with neighboring countries," said Yu.

"Zarubino will become a gateway for Jilin into overseas markets, particularly the China-Russia-South Korea, and China-Russia-Japan joint rail and water transportation routes that are being planned."

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