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Transport and Housing Bureau's response in relation to the development of Hong Kong Port21 April 2017

"Hong Kong port, handling a total of 19.8 million TEUs container cargo last year, is an important tenet of Hong Kong's economy, underpinning our success as an international trade and logistics hub. Trading and logistics account for 22% of our GDP and 20% of total employment. HKSAR Government is committed to maintaining the vibrancy of the Hong Kong Port. To this end, we have undertaken a dredging project to deepen the approach channel to Kwai Tsing Container Terminals from the navigation depth of 15 metres to 17 metres to enable ultra large container vessels to access the container terminals at all tides. We just welcomed the world's largest container vessel in service, with a carrying capacity of over 20,000 TEUs, into Hong Kong Port on 15 April.

In view of the rapid development of ports in the region, Hong Kong, leveraging on its connectivity and frequency of liner services, has become an important transshipment hub and a regional distribution centre. The share of transshipment throughput rose from 33% in 2000 to about 60% in 2016. Moreover, with its institutional strengths from its established maritime heritage and the "one country two systems" principle, Hong Kong is also a mature maritime services centre, with the capability to provide high value-added services like ship finance, marine insurance, maritime law and arbitration, ship management, etc. to major maritime economies globally.

In April 2016, HKSAR Government established the Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board (HKMPB) to champion and strengthen Hong Kong's position as an international maritime centre, especially as a "super-connector" under China's Belt and Road Initiative. Riding on Hong Kong's vibrant port and established shipping heritage, we aim to further consolidate into a major maritime services hub through effective policies and practices for the maritime cluster, with good synergy with shipping and port operations. Speaking also as Chairman of HKMPB, the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung, has reiterated that maintaining an efficient and vibrant port continues to be a strategic component of the HKSAR Government's and HKMPB's mission."