The 5th Maritime Silk Road Port International Cooperation Forum (MPF), themed at promoting inclusive and open development, was opened in Ningbo City, east China’s Zhejiang Province on Thursday.

The 2-day long forum, organised by Zhejiang Seaport Group and other institutions, is a parallel forum for the China Maritime Forum 2019, an event launched to mark the Maritime Day of China on July 11, and is guided by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Transport and the People’s Government of Zhejiang Province.

Xu Zuyuan, Former Vice Minister of China’s Ministry of Transport and Maritime Ambassador of International Maritime Organisation (IMO), said the world is undergoing profound changes and adjustments. By co-building a platform and sharing fruits of cooperation and co-development, countries and regions alongside the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will embrace joint development of their ports and shipping businesses.

After five years of joint efforts, the MPF has now served as an important platform for promoting cooperation and communication among ports and shipping businesses around the world, added Xu.

In the past five years, global ports industry has achieved remarkable development amid energy consumption transformation, data exchanges, morality, governance, security and energy efficiency challenges, said Santiago Garcia Mila, president of International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH).

Guo Xuejun, Deputy Director General of the Department of International Economic Affairs of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road is an inherent part of co-building the Belt and Road. To construct the maritime silk road, joint efforts are needed in five aspects including promoting marine interconnectivity, developing green Silk Road, exploring innovation, upholding open world economy and strengthening international cooperation together with the establishment of the blue partnership.

According to the 2018 global port development report, nine Chinese ports including the Guangzhou Port, Ningbo-Zhoushan Port and Tianjin Port all ranked among the world top 20 ports with even higher rankings than 2017 in 2018 despite general slower growth in container throughput worldwide.

Since 2015, the MPF has been convened for five consecutive years. In April, the Ningbo Initiative, as an outcome of the 2018 MPF, was included in the List of Deliverable of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

Also: Maritime Silk Road Port International Cooperation Forum