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SPG, Zaozhuang ink strategic cooperation agreement

|chinadaily.com.cn |Updated: July 22, 2020

A strategic cooperation agreement was signed between Shandong Port Group (SPG) and Zaozhuang government during a signing ceremony held in Zaozhuang, East China's Shandong province on July 21. The agreement is expected to help Zaozhuang boost innovation-driven development and port-city integration. 

The strategically-located Zaozhuang connects Qingdao Port and Rizhao Port on the east is connected by rail to Central Asia and Europe in the west. The city has a strong foundation in modern logistics and many rapidly-developing industries.

SPG has implemented policies laid out by the Shandong Provincial Committee of the Communist Party and the provincial government to accelerate integration reform since its establishment on August 6, 2019. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the group's overall cargo throughout exceeded 700 million tons, up 7.1 percent year-on-year, while container throughput increased 2.5 percent year-on-year to 14.78 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units), ranking first among China's coastal ports.

Zaozhuang Inland Port, the first of its kind in the province, was launched on Sep 26, 2019 and is among the country’s most crucial inland ports. To date, the freight train, under the name of ''Zaozhuang'', has made 2,100 trips carrying a total of 69,000 TEUs and has provided quality services for over 40 Zaozhuang-based and surrounding export enterprises, helping them save 28 million yuan ($ 4.02 million) in logistics costs.

According to the agreement, the two sides will play to their advantages to jointly promote and foster new forms of foreign trade. They will also attract more enterprises to participate in the development of Zaozhuang's export-oriented economy. A significant, standardized and environmentally-friendly transportation system featuring road, rail, sea and river transportation will connect the whole of Shandong province as well as the rest of the nation, helping Zaozhuang integrate into the Belt and Road Initiative.

The group's integration reform is a political task of Shandong, said Huo Gaoyuan, Party secretary and chairman of SPG, adding that in the short term, the port integration is expected to eliminate inefficient competition among ports in Shandong province, while in the mid-term, it will better promote Shandong's replacement of old growth drivers with new ones. In the long run, it will give full play to its role as the intersection of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

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