Sunday, November 29, 2015   

Shenzhen knocks HK out of top three

Karen Chiu

Friday, January 17, 2014


Hong Kong has lost its position as the world's third-busiest port to Shenzhen, as containers handled by the SAR last year fell by 3.6 percent.

It is the first time the territory has ranked outside the top three.

This comes as a survey by The Economist magazine claimed that Hong Kong is at serious risk of losing its pivotal business center position in Asia to other first-tier Chinese cities.

Over the past 12 months, Hong Kong terminals handled 22.3 million 20-foot equivalent units, compared with 23.12 million TEUs a year earlier, data by the Hong Kong Port Development Council showed.

Hong Kong now ranks the fourth-busiest port in the world as Shenzhen reached 23.3 million TEUs last year, the Transport Commission of Shenzhen Municipality said.

Shanghai and Singapore remain the world's two biggest container ports.

A contributing factor to the drop in rank was that ships were diverted in March as port workers at Hongkong International Terminals, under Hutchison Whampoa (0013), went on strike for 40 days for higher wages.

Meanwhile, according to The Economist's Asia Business Outlook Survey 2014, Hong Kong is at risk of becoming irrelevant as a business center in Asia, with Beijing and Shanghai vying for the honor.

A total of 334 senior executives were interviewed last month for the poll.

"It puts pressure on Hong Kong as `the gateway to China,' as the center of decision-making shifts to Shanghai and Beijing," said Ross O'Brien, Hong Kong director at The Economist Corporate Network. He added that Hong Kong's attractiveness as a connection point between China and the rest of the world is decreasing.

Also, pollution, housing, schooling and other quality of life issues are losing ground, O'Brien added. But infrastructure, professional services, and gathering of talent and capital are still unparalleled.

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