Business / Companies

China Merchants Group plans network of ports, terminals

By Zhong Nan (China Daily) Updated: 2016-06-02 08:23

China Merchants Group said it plans to construct key infrastructure projects such as specialized marine terminals in countries along the Belt and Road Initiative-including Djibouti, Sri Lanka and Belarus-during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20).

The Chinese conglomerate's Chairman Li Jianhong said on Wednesday the company will build a livestock wharf and liquefied natural gas terminal in the Port of Djibouti.

It is also constructing warehouses in Sri Lanka's Port of Colombo, as well as investing $152 million to build the first phase of a trade and logistics park in Belarus this year.

Under the schedule, the first phase of the trade and logistics park in the China-Belarus Industrial Park, located 25 kilometers from the Belarus capital of Minsk, will be operational by the end of this year.

Li said these moves would help build a comprehensive services platform, dominated by Chinese companies, in countries and regions along the initiative route. He said it could help Chinese businesses save costs on making new deals, in customs clearance, port services and maritime and multimodal transportation.

The trade-and-infrastructure network-proposed by the Chinese government in 2013-envisions a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road that covers about 4.4 billion people in more than 60 countries and regions in Asia, Europe and Africa.

CMG will invest $500 million to build the trade and logistics park in the China-Belarus Industrial Park and this year establish a logistics passage from South China to Central Asia and Europe, with cargo trains running from China to Europe.

As a State-owned enterprise based in Hong Kong with its main business in transportation, port management, finance and real estate, CMG's port assets are distributed in 16 countries and regions. They are in more than 30 ports in key locations along the Belt and Road Initiative, such as Nigeria, Togo, France and Turkey.

"We are also aiming to enhance the renminbi's status in international currency settlement through building our first Silk Road hub project in Djibouti this year," said Li. CMG now is the second-largest shareholder of the Port of Djibouti, after it acquired a 23.5-percent stake in 2012.

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