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Monday, July 15, 2019

Central Asia News

During the ribbon cutting ceremony marking the formal inauguration of BICT’s multifaceted expansion program. Photo: ICTSI

ICTSI Expands Batumi Container Terminal

Philippines-based port operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) has inaugurated the newly-expanded Batumi International Container Terminal (BICT) in Georgia.The expansion encompasses both the waterside and landside areas of the multipurpose terminal, intended to optimize the processing of existing cargo flows and install additional capacity to accommodate new business.Marking the importance of the occasion, the inauguration was attended by Giorgi Kobulia…

© xy / Adobe Stock

Japan, China Agree Trade War Will Harm Global Economy

Japan and China agree that a trade war will have serious consequences for the world economy, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Monday after a high-level economic dialogue between the world's third- and second-largest economies. Concern is growing about a trade row between China and the United States in which the two nations have threatened each other with tariffs. Japan has been criticised by U.S. President Donald Trump on trade and been hit with tariffs on steel and aluminum, but it has not yet threatened counter-tariffs.

Photo: A.P. Moller – Maersk

Maersk Bullish on India

Domestic reforms have slowed down India’s trade momentarily, thereby weakening domestic demand. However, A.P. Moller – Maersk expects Indian EXIM trade to pick up pace in the next quarter. “This dip in import growth was due to piling up of inventory in the market post demonetisation and lack of clarity around Good and Service Tax. It is noteworthy that despite the looming threat of the current geopolitical environment worldwide on global trade, India has been able to maintain its growth trajectory,” Franck Dedenis, Head of West Central Asia Trades said.

Chabahar Port. Photo: Ports & Maritime Organization Iran

Iran's Chabahar Port Signs Pact with India Ports Global

India Ports Global has signed a contract with Aria Banader of Iran to equip and operate two terminals at Chabahar - Shahid -Beheshti Port in Iran for transportation of goods and other purposes. "As per Article 6 of the contract, effort are to be made to commence commercial operations at Chabahar –Shahid- Beheshti Port in Iran within 18 months from the contract activation date or 4 months from the date on which the Lessor hands over the Terminals and the infrastructure facilities to the Lessee in accordance with the terms of the Contract," said a press release from the government.

Photo: APM Terminals

APM Terminals Poti to Build Cargo Terminal

APM Terminals Poti and Poti New Terminals Consortium signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a USD 100 million dollar investment in a new bulk cargo terminal that can process 1.5 million tons of dry bulk cargo annually and generate new trade opportunities for customers in the Georgian transit corridor. The new terminal is expected to be built on APM Terminals Poti land and infrastructure and will entail the construction, development and operation of a new breakwater, dry bulk cargo terminal and related infrastructure to serve bulk cargo customers.

U.S., China Stumble into the Thucydides Trap: Kemp

The United States and China have fired the opening shots in a trade war that may be hard to stop. Washington has published a target list of 1,300 items imported from China worth an estimated $50 billion that would be hit with an extra tariff of 25 percent (“Notice of determination”, USTR, April 3). Beijing has responded with a target list of 106 items imported from the United States worth a similar amount that would be hit by the same ad valorem tariff (“China retaliates for U.S. tariffs”, Reuters, April 4).

IMF Real growth rate forecast

2016 brings lowest GDP growth rate since financial crisis began - BIMCO

In terms of global economic recovery, 2016 has been the year with the lowest GDP growth rate since the financial crisis began in 2009. Amongst many landmark events, the slowdown for GDP growth in 2016 stemmed from weaker US activity in the first half of 2016, together with the UK’s referendum vote to leave the European Union, putting “Brexit” on the horizon. Although the International Monetary Fund (IMF) emphasised that the result of the UK referendum had been contained, the world saw an orderly repricing in the financial markets after the initial shock of the Brexit vote.

India's Plan to Develop Iranian Port Faces US Headwinds

Western manufacturers are shying away from supplying equipment for an Iranian port that India is developing for fear the United States may reimpose sanctions on Tehran, Indian officials say, dealing a blow to New Delhi's strategic ambitions in the region. Lying on the Gulf of Oman along the approaches to the Straits of Hormuz, the port of Chabahar is central to India's hopes to crack open a transport corridor to Central Asia and Afghanistan that bypasses arch-rival Pakistan. India…

Photo: Safmarine

Safmarine Moves HQ to SA

International container carrier focused on trade to and from Africa, West and Central Asia, Safmarine will move its head office to Cape Town, South Africa, thereby returning to its roots. Safmarine was acquired by Maersk Line in 1999. Since 2012, Safmarine’s head office has been located in Copenhagen. The move is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. Success in Africa matters to you and your business. That's why you deserve a shipping partner with African expertise and knowledge of its growing market.

Photo: Presidential Office of Iran

Iranian Port Deal: Modi's Masterstroke

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed a deal to develop the Chabahar port in Iran for which India will extend $500 million. The historic pact makes Chabahar the first foreign port which India is involved in developing to such a large extent. India and Iran, along with Afghanistan, have agreed to develop the southern Iranian port of Chabahar, giving India vital access to Central Asia, as well as highlighting regional rivalries and burgeoning friendships. The main contract…

Courtesy IRISL

IRISL launches Direct Container Service from Incheon to M.E.

THE Incheon Port Authority said a regular container service connecting the port directly to the Middle East has been launched for the first time, backed by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL). According to MANA,The Iranian state-run IRISL will deploy its 5,100-teu vessel Touska in the Middle Eastern route, named HDM Loop, it said in a statement. Two containerships of 5,100 teu capacity each will be put in operation, along with four 6,500 teu container carriers. No other details on the six vessels were provided.

Management changes at GAC

Management Changes at GAC Group

Global provider of integrated shipping, logistics and marine services, the GAC Group, has announced a swathe of management changes and transfers. At Group level, changes come with Erland Ebbersten, formerly Group Vice President for the Africa, Russia and Central Asia region, assuming responsibility as Group Vice President – Marine heading the newly established Marine region covering Abu Dhabi, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. He will be based in Abu Dhabi. Thomas Okbo, previously Company Manager of GAC Hong Kong, takes over as Group Vice President for Africa region (AFR).

Frank Guenzerodt (Photo: Dachser USA)

Dachser Continues Growth in APAC

In order to provide quickly growing industries in Vietnam with logistics services for their exports, Dachser has now opened a branch office in Hanoi to support its location in Ho Chi Minh City. “The expansion of Dachser Asia Pacific is vital for our customers in the USA as a substantial amount of cargo is imported from these areas,” said Frank Guenzerodt, President & CEO of Dachser USA. “Many manufacturers, particularly those in the textile, shoe, and electronics industries, have established production facilities in northern Vietnam.

Photo: IRISL GROUP

Iran, Kazakhstan Deal for Shipping JV

The chief executive officers of Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL) and Kazakhstan’s KTZ Express – a subsidiary of the country’s national railways company- signed an agreement for establishing a joint company. The deal could lead to the creation of a new transport corridor connecting Iran’s southern ports to the upper parts of Central Asia - and even possibly Russia and China. On the sideline of Iran's president visit to Kazakhstan, an agreement for establishing a joint…

Map courtesy: Hindustantimes

Iran Hurries India to Finish Chabahar Port

India has come “under pressure” from Iran to complete the Chabahar Port project, with the lifting of Iranian trade sanctions, reports Hindu Business Line. Acting strategically to China’s repeated attempts to wean away India from Chabahar Port upgradation, India is taking steps to firm up its bilateral negotiations and alliance with Iran. According to highly placed sources, both sides have also arrived at a deadline to complete the talks on LNG terminal. A top official, involved in the talks, has reportedly said that India is under pressure to complete the Chabahar project.

For Polluted China, Gas is a Matter of life or Death

"If I work in your Beijing, I would shorten my life at least five years," Premier Zhu Rongji, a career politician from Shanghai, quipped in 1999, referring to the notorious air pollution in China's northern capital. Research has confirmed life expectancy in northern China is 5.5 years shorter than in the south owing to the worse air pollution, and the shocking difference stems from a well-intentioned government policy to keep the residents of northern China warm in winter. According to a group of U.S.

Photo: Maersk Line

Maersk Announces Rate Increase

The world’s largest container shipping company Maersk Line said that it will increase the rate from north Europe to west central Asia by US$100 per TEU, $150 per FEU and 40-foot high cube from March 1. This will apply to shipments from Finland, Russia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia to Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Maersk Line would also change the way it announces price changes to its customers, following the European Union’s antitrust investigation into price collusion.

Photo: Al Sharqi Shipping

Maersk Line Honors Al Sharqi Shipping

For the fourth time in a row, Al Sharqi Shipping was awarded the Maersk Platinum Award, recognizing the company once again as a top Maersk Line customer. The most recent award, presented on February 24, 2016 for the year 2015, marks the fourth consecutive Platnium win with Maersk line - 2012 to 2015. The Gala Dinner was held at Nassima Royal Hotel, Dubai. In a gathering of barely 45 attendees, the intimate and exclusive ceremony was attended by senior officials from other freight forwarding and logistics companies and the top official of Maersk line Marc Gijsbrechts…

Mikael Forsberg (Photo: Greencarrier Freight)

Greencarrier Freight Services Strengthens Management Team

Greencarrier Freight Services has appointed Mikael Forsberg as its first head of global sales, also promoting Jarmo Halonen to the role of Group Director Road Freight. Forsberg, who takes the title of Chief Commercial Officer, will be responsible for the execution and development of the global sales strategy and has been tasked with achieving some ambitious growth targets. He was formerly Nordic Chief Commercial Officer for Damco and has a strong track record and extensive experience in working internationally.

Image: Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines

Iran and Russia Linked Across the Caspian Sea

A subsidiary of Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) has launched a series of new routes across the Caspian linking Russia and Kazakhstan, reports Informatore Navale. This initiative will bring six sailings per month for new services. The line has been the subject of sanctions by Western countries for a couple of years that forced to seek new markets. The growth of trade between Iran and neighboring countries, Central Asia, has soared in recent years. The Caspian are assigned simultaneously the titles of the lake and the sea closed .It is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth…

The port of Chabahar. Photo by Iranian Projects

Iran Offers India Bigger Role in Developing Port of Chabahar

The port of Chabahar in southeast Iran is central to India's efforts to circumvent arch-rival Pakistan and open up a route to landlocked Afghanistan where it has developed close security ties and economic interests. According to a Reuter's report, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has asked India to invest in infrastructure projects worth $8 billion, including an expanded role in developing a strategic port that will open up access to Central Asia, Iran's envoy to New Delhi Gholamreza Ansari said.

"Egyptian forces are committed to making the canal safe and secure, in cooperation with our partners," said Vice Admiral Osama El-Gendy, Chief of Naval Forces for the Egyptian Navy in his keynote address to the delegates at OPV Middle East in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (IQPC photo)

“No one likes piracy.”

Attendees at the IQPC Offshore Patrol Vessels Middle East 2013 conference, which concluded on Dec. 11, agreed that that the safety and security of maritime commerce in the Arabian Gulf, Res Sea and their approaches, is an international responsibility shared by regional and international partners. The conference was chaired by Rear Admiral (R) Ahmed Al Sabab Al Teneiji, former chief of naval forces for the UAE Navy. The event focused on regional security cooperation; offshore patrol vessel design, procurement and operations; coastal surveillance; and maritime domain awareness.

Photo: Maersk Line

Maersk Cuts 16% West Central Asia-Europe

Maersk Line, the container shipping unit in the A.P. Moller-Maersk group in Copenhagen, says it will cut about 16% of its capacity on the West Central Asia-Europe trade lane. "In our continuous effort to provide our customers with an attractive and competitive West Central Asia / Europe network - both in terms of capacity and coverage - Maersk Line is enhancing the ME1, ME2 and ME3 services and discontinuing the ME5 service with effect from October 2015," says a statement from the company.

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli. Photo Credit: Chinese Government

China Pushes Maritime Silk Road to Asean

China made its pitch to ASEAN members to promote its Maritime Silk Road plans. China has said it will finish negotiations on upgrading the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area called CAFTA by the end of this year, said Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli. He said economic and trade cooperation is the base and guide of the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. "China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will further deepen economic and trade cooperation and mutually create an upgraded version of CAFTA," Zhang said.

Rosneft, Petrocas in Logistics & Retail JV

Rosneft has entered into definitive documentation to acquire 49% stake in Petrocas Energy International Limited (“Petrocas”), creating the joint venture (“JV”) for its activities in the South Caucasus region. The deal represents an important growth opportunity for Rosneft – Petrocas owns and operates high-quality storage assets in one of the main oil and oil products logistics hub in the region. Through the JV Rosneft will considerably expand its presence in the region, amplify its geographic reach, and further diversify its supply routes options.

Maersk’s SeaLand Sets Leadership Team

SeaLand, the newly founded intra-Americas regional carrier of the Maersk Group, announced today the appointment of its executive team which the company sais will fulfill its mission of delivering greater service stability and commitment, as well as a higher level of customer-focused service tailored to the customer’s needs. The new appointees are Alfredo Di Palma, Maria Batista, Shane Sawyer, Thiago Covre and Timothy Child, who will all be on board within the next two-three months, joining SeaLand CEO Craig Mygatt.