Regional container port competition and co-operation_the case of HK and South China

Regional container port competition and co-operation_the case of HK and South China 香港与中国南方港口的区域竞争与合作——英文文献

JournalofTransportGeography10(2002)

Regional container port competition and co-operation_the case of HK and South China

Regional container port competition and co-operation_the case of HK and South China

99–110

Regionalcontainerportcompetitionandco-operation:thecase

ofHongKongandSouthChina

Dong-WookSong

*

DepartmentofShippingandTransportLogistics,TheHongKongPolytechnicUniversity,HungHomKowloon,HongKong

Abstract

^ttotheChinesemainland,theeconomyofHongKonghasenjoyedahighgrowthrateofeconomicdevelopment.Astheentrepo

WhenHongKongdevelopeditscontainerportsinordertoaccommodatetheregionaleconomicboom,itscounterpartsinChinawereleftfarbehind;therewasnoseriousportcompetitionfromChina.However,asChinadevelopsitseconomy,theportofHongKongfacesrealchallengesfromChineseports,particularlyfromsouthernones.Interestingly,thehandoverofitssovereigntytoChinain1997causedanissueofcompetitionandco-operationbetweentheseports.Thispaperaimstoexaminethepossiblecompetitionandco-operationoftheadjacentcontainerportsinHongKongandSouthChinafromastrategicperspective.Ó2002ElsevierScienceLtd.Allrightsreserved.

Keywords:Competition;Co-operation;Containerport;HongKong;SouthChina

1.Introduction

ThefactthattheglobaleconomyisshiftingtowardsthenewlyindustrialisingcountriesinAsiaandthatgreaterseabornetradelinksexistbetweenAsiannationsisresultinginfastregionaleconomicdevelopmentandgrowth.Sinceinternationaltradeiscarriedpredomi-nantlybyseatransport,majorcontainerportsplayacrucialroleinregionaleconomies.Thelatestavailablestatistics(PortDevelopmentInternational,2000)showthat,intermsofannualcontainerthroughputs,10Asianportsarerankedamongthetop20containerportsintheworld,includingthetopfour–HongKong,Singapore,KaohsiungandPusan.

AmongstAsianeconomies,theChineseeconomyisarguablyregardedastheworld’smostfascinatinginthe

^ttotheChinesemainland,modernera.Astheentrepo

theeconomyofHongKonghasenjoyedahighrateofeconomicdevelopmentuntiltheAsian nancialturmoilthatbrokeoutattheendof1997.WhentheHongKongeconomycommenceditsdramaticeconomicgrowthwiththeother‘tigereconomies’anddevelopeditscon-tainerportsinordertoaccommodatetheregionalcontainertra caccordingly,itscounterpartsinChinawereleftfarbehind.Consequently,therehasbeenno

*

seriousportcompetitionfromtheChinesemainlandinthelast20years,andtheroleofHongKongportsasaregionalhubhasbeenaggrandised.

SinceChinahas,however,beendevelopingitsecon-omyatatwodigitgrowthratesincetheearly1990s,theportofHongKongfacesrealchallengesfromportsintheChinesemainland,inparticularfromsouthernonessuchasChiwan,ShekouandYantian(seeMap1forthegeographicallocation).Furthermore,thehistoricalhandoverofsovereigntytoChinainthemiddleof1997causedtheissueofcompetitionandco-operationbe-tweentheportstobemoremomentous.Evenafterthehandoverinmid-1997,whenHongKongbecameo -ciallyapartofChina,HongKongstillremainsanin-dependentcustomsterritoryaccordingtotheBasicLaw.Withthiscontextinmind,thispaperaimstoreviewthecurrentandprospectivestatusofthoseportsandtoprescribethepossiblecompetitionandco-operationoftheadjacentcontainerportsinHongKongandSouthChinafromastrategicperspective.

2.TradepatternsbetweenHongKongandSouthChinaSincemaritimetransportisderivedfrominterna-tionaltrade,itislogicaltoexaminethetradepatternsbetweenthetworegionsbeforemovingontothemaintheme.HongKonghasalwaysbeenopentoChina,and

Tel.:+852-2766-7397;fax:+852-2330-2704.

E-mailaddress:stldsong@polyu.edu.hk(D.-W.Song).

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