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Shanghai still container port leader
Shanghai remained the world's busiest container port in 2013 as the city moved toward its goal of becoming a shipping center.
Container throughput rose 3.3 percent to a record 33.6 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) last year, official data showed yesterday. The city first became the world's biggest container port in 2010 when it surpassed Singapore.
Last year also saw a range of achievements in Shanghai shipping. The official opening of two-way traffic in the main channel of Yangshan Deep-water Port in October could help shipping lines save on costs and further boost turnover for Shanghai, while London's Baltic Exchange, the main freight index provider, unveiled a Shanghai office in September.
The Shanghai Urban Construction and Communications Commission, the local transport authority, said the city will accelerate the shipping sector's development this year on the back of the new pilot free trade zone, a testing ground for government reforms.
China has eased foreign-ownership limits in Sino-foreign shipping joint ventures in the FTZ and allowed foreign companies to set up wholly owned ship management companies there, in an opening-up to draw more shipping-related businesses to Shanghai.
The city will accelerate the implementation of shipping-rated policies in the FTZ and study the launch of the trading of freight index derivatives, the commission said. It will also extend a tax rebate program which allows the refund of exported goods to be claimed at their ports of departure if shippers use Yangshan as a transit. Currently the program covers Qingdao in Shandong Province and Wuhan in inland Hubei Province.
Shanghai will also speed up the construction of the fourth and fifth runways at the Pudong International Airport and facility upgrades at both the Pudong and Hongqiao airports.
[Source: By Richard Fu, Xinhua, Beijing, 05Jan14]
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