Officials from the Port of Koper (Slovenia) and Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group (China) agreed to work together, following a Memorandum of understanding.
Following a conference at the Maritime Silk Road Port International Cooperation Forum, in the Chinese city of Ningbo, port authorities agreed to a lucrative cooperation between the two. Specifically, the president of the management board of Luka Koper, Dimitrij Zadel and the representative of Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group, Ni Chenggang signed a Memorandum of understanding to strengthen trade between China and the Central and Eastern European countries. The agreement was necessary, considering European traders carry most of their overseas cargo through the Koper port. This being said, Luka Koper has officially become a formal part of the economic belt initiative, also known as the New Silk Road of the 21st century.
As part of the agreement, the signing parties will have to increase the number of shipping lines, thus increasing trade volumes that already exceeded 2 million tonnes of cargo in 2017. Furthermore, authorities agree to have a balance between exports and imports and establish intermodal connections.
According to the president of the management board of Luka Koper, Dimitrij Zadel:
‘The Chinese partners recognized the strategic position of the Port of Koper and its excellent connections with the hinterland. On average, as many as 70 freight trains daily connect Koper and the largest economic centres in Central and Eastern Europe. Luka Koper is interesting for Chinese partners because two thirds of the goods in Koper are handled for hinterland markets needs and we have a dominant market share on some destinations.’
The Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan dates back all the way to ancient times, in 738, during the Tang Dynasty. Since then it has flourished into the giant of our times, with several hundred million tonnes of cargo handled each year and having reached almost 1 billion tonnes in 2017, at 10 million TEUs. The operator, Ningbo Zhoushan Port Group, is the largest company with this profile in the Zhejiang province on the East China Sea coast.