| Azaraimy HH in Nanning, China |
THE Muara Port Company Sdn Bhd (MPC) plans to transform Muara Port into a regional hub by attracting international shipping companies to operate there and opening direct routes to Chinese and other Southeast Asian ports.
It will focus on opening and enlarging available route networks, increasing transit volume and gradually improving the importance of Muara Port.
This was stated by Dato Seri Paduka Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, the Deputy Minister of Finance, during a press conference at the Symposium on Ports Cooperation and Development of China-Asean Port Cities Cooperation Network Work Conference, a sideline event of the 14th China-Asean Expo in Nanning, China.
Also present at the conference were Zhang Xiaoqin, the Vice-Governor of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China; Lee Yi Syhan, the Chairman of Business China, Singapore; Yang Xiuping, the Secretary-General of Asean-China Center, China; Yang Huaxiong, the Deputy Director-General of the Water Transport Bureau, China; and Kong Cho Ha, the Chairman of Port Klang Authority, Malaysia.
Dato Seri Paduka Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew also said during the conference that MPC – a joint venture between the Brunei government through Darussalam Assets and Beibu Gulf Port Co (a China-based ports operation and management company) – is the new port operator of the Muara Container Terminal (MCT).
The company’s introduction falls in line with the Brunei government’s objective of improving Muara Port’s overall operational efficiency and to improve Brunei Darussalam’s ease of doing business ranking.
The new setup will further facilitate growth in Brunei’s logistics and manufacturing industries and unlock the Muara Port’s potential of becoming a world-class, international transshipment hub.
Dato Seri Paduka Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew added that the collaboration between Beibu Gulf – with their vast experience in port operations and maritime logistics – and Darussalam Assets will aid in turning Muara Port not just into an international port but also a competitive sub-regional port within the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines – East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) region.
The company is also expected to grow the port’s export cargo volume and overall volume of Muara cargo. This in the long-term will benefit small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country, through a reduction of logistics costs via economies of scale and creating better synergies with other industries.
MPC will also be expanding its portfolio to include managing and operating the adjacent Muara Conventional Terminal before the end of this year, meaning the entire port operations will come under MPC.
The Beibu Group, in view of Brunei Darussalam intensifying its efforts to diversify the economy and attract foreign direct investment (FDI), is also looking at other investment opportunities to catalyse more industrial activity to synergise and link with the ports ecosystem.
An example of this is by investing in the development of industrial parks and integrated logistics park in the country.
“Seaborne trade will continue to dominate global trade flows and the China-Asean region will continue to grow, providing opportunities for investment and trade. The rejuvenation of Muara Port is a timely development as the port plays a vital role as a centre for the distribution of goods and merchandise to the market,” said Dato Seri Paduka Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew.
“Therefore we look forward to our continuous collaboration with Beibu Gulf in the coming months to build on the solid foundation that we have today to further enhance the expansion of Muara Port and other industrial activities mentioned earlier.”