BEIJING, Sept. 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- East China's Fujian Province-based international shipping association "Silk Road Maritime" on Friday announced 16 new international ship routes, bringing the total routes to 116 as it celebrates its 5th anniversary, further securing the maritime supply chain under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
In addition, 13 international organizations and enterprises including Piraeus Port Authority, Ghana Ports & Harbors Authority, and Aliyun announced their intention to join the association during the opening ceremony of the 5th "Silk Road Maritime" International Cooperation Forum held on Thursday, lifting the total number of association members to 317.
Zhou Zuyi, Secretary of the CPC Fujian Provincial Committee and Chairman of Standing Committee of the Fujian Provincial People's Congress, said during the ceremony that Fujian Province is the starting point of the Maritime Silk Road with thousands of years of history, and is also the Core Area of the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.
Zhou emphasized that the "Silk Road Maritime" will make effort to contribute to the construction of the BRI, and he vowed to further upgrade the cooperation platforms and implement more supportive policies.
Chen Zhiping, chairman of Fujian Provincial Port Group Co, said during the opening ceremony that 2023 marks the fifth anniversary of the "Silk Road Maritime," witnessing remarkable progress the association had made over the past five years.
"The 'Silk Road Maritime' has been positioned as a major project under the BRI in accordance with China's 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), which means the association is being upgraded from a trial project to a global cooperation platform," Chen said.
In the past five years, the total number of "Silk Road Maritime" members has risen to 317. The number of ship routes operated by the association hit 116, reaching 131 harbors in 43 countries.
As of August 31 this year, shipping routes making up the "Silk Road Maritime" have operated 12,096 freight vessels, facilitating over 14 million standard containers, the association said. In June 2022, the "Silk Road Maritime" launched China's first e-commerce special ship routes connecting Xiamen and Manila, the Philippines, which can facilitate 30,000 standard containers per year with value over 11 billion yuan ($1.52 billion).
The blue book for "Silk Road Maritime" construction was unveiled during the forum, which summarized that achievements have been made in the past 5 years, and provided detailed international business information for association members to refer.
The "Silk Road Maritime" also signed a cooperation agreement with China Meteorological Administration at the forum. The administration will deploy its advancing monitor system to provide precise weather forecasting and relevant services for association members covering more than 2,000 harbors worldwide.
During the two-day-forum, more than 1,000 representatives from domestic and overseas enterprises spanning the maritime transport sector and related industries discussed topics in four major sub-sessions, exchanging points of view on how to boost the development of the global shipping industry.
Chen pledged that the "Silk Road Maritime" will continue to cooperate with all association members, in a bid to further upgrade cooperation throughout the association, to accelerate shipping industry development.