Business / Economy

China Merchants Group, Maritime London join hands in shipping biz

By Cecily Liu ( Updated: 2014-03-05 22:06

China Merchants Group and Maritime London have signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday in London to further strengthen cooperation of China and the UK's shipping industries.

Maritime London, the promotional body for UK based companies that provide professional services to the international shipping industry, will share its wealth of expertise and experiences with China Merchants Group, for the benefit of China's young but rapidly booming shipping industry.

China Merchants Group will in turn help Maritime London and its member companies to better understand opportunities in China and the rest of Asia, and especially new opportunities in the recently established Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

"The Shanghai Free Trade Zone will help to grow trade and investment flows between China and the world, which will greatly impact the shipping industry," says Wu Zhihai, a senior project manager at China Merchants Group.

"In addition, the Shanghai Free Trade Zone will lead to a growth of professional services in China, including shipping industry related services like shipping data provision and shipping insurance. Maritime London's experiences in these areas will greatly help," says Wu.

The MoU came about as a result of two years of discussion between the two parties.

Jeffrey Evans, chairman of Maritime London, says the two groups will further discuss how to take the cooperation forward in the foreseeable future.

"I think there are enormous opportunities. China is now becoming a more and more important player on the global scene, and that's particularly true of the shipping industry, as China is now the biggest ship builder globally," says Evans.

"The opportunities are many. There could be opportunities for China Merchants Group to invest in infrastructure and other things here in London and the UK. But also, we could have a strong input (into the Shanghai Free Trade Zone)" Evans says.

During China Merchants Group's current visit to London, the group will meet with many players from various maritime professional services sectors including lawyers, financiers, shipbrokers and insurers, as well as UK's Shipping Minister, Stephen Hammond.

The Lord Mayor of the City of London Fiona Woolf said the signing of the MoU is very important China, the UK, and the global shipping industry.

She said that she is delighted to find the MoU a two way relationship, providing both opportunities for Maritime London and companies in the UK's shipping industry to further expand into China, and for players in China's shipping industry to benefit from global expertise.

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