SHANGHAI made progress in building an international shipping center last year and the opening-up reforms in the cityâ€™s free trade zone have lured another six global ship management firms to dock there, officials and industry participants said yesterday.
By the end of 2014, six overseas ship management companies have been set up in the zone after China for the first time allowed wholly foreign-funded companies to operate in the sector in the FTZ, the government of Pudong New Area said.
Another six firms from Germany, Singapore and Hong Kong are also preparing to establish subsidiaries in the zone, it said.
â€œShip management is the core sector of the shipping industry that drives the development of the upstream and downstream sectors,â€ said Ma Hongqi, head of the service office of Pudongâ€™s shipping department. â€œWe will continue to boost the sector after the Shanghai zone is expanded.â€
Pudong also witnessed the creation of an international shipping service innovation zone, a shipping finance base and a shipping insurance center last year.
â€œNew policies introduced in the Shanghai pilot free trade zone have provided us many opportunities to develop business in China,â€ said Alex Bilokon, chief representative officer and general manager of the Shanghai office of V.Ships, a leading global maritime service provider.
Bilokon said his company is in talks with the FTZ administration to open a new company in the zone in order to take advantage of the policies there.
However, Ma said there is still huge gap between Shanghai and the worldâ€™s leading shipping centers. Shanghaiâ€™s marine insurance, key for the shippers, now accounts for only 1 percent of the global market share.