CMA CGM signs its first port investment in China

A ‘strategic cooperation agreement for the development of the port of Haicang at Xiamen’ was signed today by CMA CGM Group, the Municipality of Xiamen (province of Fujian) and New World Services Holding Ltd (NWS), at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, in presence of the French and Chinese presidents, Mr Nicolas SARKOZY and Mr HU JINTAO. According to this agreement, CMA CGM and its partners will invest in the construction and management of a deep water container terminal. This project will soon be finalized between CMA CGM, NWS and ‘Xiamen Haicang Investment General Co’ so as to be operational in 2009.

The port of Xiamen ranks 22nd in the world in container traffic with more than 4 M teus in 2006 and 13% growth expected for 2007. CMA CGM is the third largest container shipping group for international traffic in China, with 280,000 teus planned for 2007.

New World is a well established Hong Kong based group, which has a rich experience of investments in transport infrastructure projects in China, especially in ports (Xiamen, Tianjin, Dalian, Wenzhou).

This will be CMA CGM’s first port investment project in China. The French group has shares in 16 port terminals in the world. It has already invested in China, where it acquired in 2006 an eight percent share in « China Rail Intermodal », a project of more than 1.6 billion USD to conceive, build and manage a network of 18 railway container stations, covering the entire Chinese territory.

Present in China since 1992, CMA CGM has developed a dense network of 62 offices and will realize in 2007 a traffic of about 2.5 million teus, which represents approximately 10% of deep sea Chinese exports (Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Oceania). The group offers 30 weekly maritime services from China. Its subsidiary, CMA CGM Logistics, is also developing at full speed. Mr. Jacques R. SAADE, founder and President of CMA CGM declared in Beijing: ‘Thanks to this new terminal, CMA CGM container ships will benefit from a better quality of service in Xiamen, which will become a transshipment hub for the Group in South China, allowing lines to rationalize their operations in the area. The Group also wishes to invest in the ports of Tianjin (Northern China) and Shanghai/Yangshan (China Center).’

Signed in the presence of the highest French and Chinese authorities, this agreement is the first of this scale to be concluded between the two countries in the maritime sector.