Australia’s state-owned Port of Townsville and the Port of Qinzhou in China have signed a sister port agreement expected to pave the way for the development of trade and investment opportunities between northern Australia and southern China.
Qinzhou Port is one of the largest southern ports in China and plays an important role in China-ASEAN cooperation as the closest free trade port to ASEAN countries.
Once the departure port of the marine Silk Road, Qinzhou is now known as China’s capital for lychees, bananas, water buffalo and oysters.
”China is already a significant trading partner for the Port of Townsville’s and is the largest export destination for containers and general cargo as well as significant quantities of sugar and mineral concentrates including copper, zinc and lead,” said Treasurer of Queensland Curtis Pitt.
Port of Townsville currently handles over 32 commodities on 9 operational berths and trades with 42 countries worldwide including ports in 19 Asian countries due to its close proximity to Asia Pacific.
Over 75% of the current trade is with Asian markets – increasing by almost 2.76 million tonnes over the last 5 years. More than 75 per cent of all metals exported from Queensland are handled through the Port of Townsville. Further emerging trade sectors are containers, agriculture, motor vehicles and project cargo.
”Future trade forecasts between China and the Townsville Port anticipate significant increases in commodity exports, rice and grains over the next few years,” the Minister assisting the Premier on North Queensland and Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said.
”Especially with a cluster of competitive modern industries taking shape insidethe Qinzhou Port Economic and Technological Development Zoneincluding petrochemical, paper making, metallurgy, electronics, energy, grain and oil processing. The operators of Qinzhou have expressed a desire to import agricultural products such as boxed beef, wine, dairy products and grains from North Queensland.”