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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First passenger-cargo vessel leaves mainland for Taiwan

FUZHOU, July 13 (Xinhua) -- The first combined passenger-cargo vessel left the Chinese mainland bound directly for Taiwan Monday morning.

It is the first such sailing after the mainland and Taiwan started direct air and sea transport and postal services last December, when sailings of passenger vessels and cargo vessels began.

The ship, "New Golden Bridge II", carrying 630 passengers, left Mawei, Fujian Province, at around 11 a.m. and is expected to reach Keelung, Taiwan in about ten hours.

Fujian Transport Group rented the vessel from a shipping company in eastern Shandong Province to run the line.

"The direct sailing of the passenger-cargo vessels will be great convenience to the exchange of passengers and cargo across the Taiwan Straits," said Liang Jianyong, vice mayor of Fuzhou City, capital of Fujian.

"Taiwan businessmen who have invested in the manufacturing industry in the mainland can directly bring parts to vessels," said Liang. "Taiwan's fruit growers and aquatic products dealers can carry agricultural products with them."

Zhuang Fuchi, president of the Enterprises Association in Fuzhou, said the convenience of cargo and passenger transport would also bring more opportunities to Taiwan services companies on the mainland.

Another route for passenger-cargo vessels from Xiamen, Fujian, to Kaohsiung of Taiwan will open in September, according to Ma Jilie, deputy director of the Fujian Transport Department.

Ma said the province would strive to realize regular operation of the passenger-cargo vessels by the end of this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
China Merchants keen to invest in Kaohsiung port
3 June 2009
South China Morning Post

Mainland port operator China Merchants Holdings (International) is keen to take advantage of improved cross-strait relations and invest in Kaohsiung, Taiwan's biggest port.

"Kaohsiung is a natural deepwater port and has played an important role in the international transshipment trade," China Merchants chairman Fu Yuning said yesterday after a trip to Taiwan.

China Merchants' move comes after bigger rival Cosco Pacific announced an interest in investing in the port last Friday.

Mr Fu said particulars of the investment plan would not be ironed out until after the Taiwan government announced regulations relaxing restrictions on mainland firms wishing to invest on the island.

However, he said there were concerns that port handling charges "should not be too low".

The island's ports are dominated by shipping companies such as Evergreen and Yang Ming, which consider the harbours an extension of their business rather than as a public facility run by an operator. As a result, port charges were determined in the interests of the shipping lines rather than from the viewpoint of the port operator, said Geoffrey Cheng, a transport analyst at Daiwa Institute of Research.

Meanwhile, Mr Fu said the drop in container throughput at mainland ports had started bottoming out last month, which was a positive sign for the country's beleaguered export sector.

"I expect container volume in the second half will recover and grow by double digits from that in the first half," he said.

Following the worsening slump in the mainland's export figures in April, China Merchants, which invests in and operates ports in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Shanghai, saw signs of recovery in throughput numbers last month.

Average volume fell 15 per cent year on year last month, compared with a 20 per cent decline for the first four months, said Mr Fu.

Western Shenzhen, including ports at Shekou, Chiwan and Mawan, saw cargo volume drop 21 per cent from May last year, narrowing from a 25 per cent fall in the first four months.

Shanghai International Port Group, in which China Merchants has a 26 per cent stake, saw the decline in volume slow to 12 per cent last month from 15.9 per cent in the first four months.

Mr Fu said China Merchants had not lowered port charges since the start of the crisis.

Cosco International Holdings, a shipping equipment and service provider, also reported signs of the global economic crisis bottoming out. Zhang Fusheng, the company's chairman, said China was leading the recovery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Chinese mainland to open five more ports for direct shipping with Taiwan

XIAMEN, April 18 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese mainland will open five more ports for direct shipping service with Taiwan, bringing the total such ports to 68, a mainland transport official said Saturday.

The ports to be opened are in the provinces of Anhui, Shandong and Zhejiang, said Song Dexing, director of the Water Transport Department with the Ministry of Transport, at a round table meeting on direct shipping across the Taiwan Straits.

On Nov. 4 last year, the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) signed in Taipei protocols on direct shipping, air transport and postal services, which allowed regular civilian planes and ships to directly cross the Taiwan Straits. On Dec. 15, the "three direct links" were formally launched, ending a 59-year ban in this regard.

Under the earlier agreement, the mainland will open 63 ports to Taiwan ships while Taiwan will open 11, and the two sides might increase the number of ports based on a "developing situation."

At Saturday's meeting, Song also announced eight other moves the mainland will take to further boost the cross-Straits direct shipping, such as facilitating sandstone transport, exemption of some taxes, establishment of representatives offices and enhancing maritime safety.

The round table meeting was held as one of the 18 activities for the Straits Forum that opens Saturday evening in the mainland city Xiamen, which faces Taiwan across sea. About 150 participants from both sides attended the meeting.

The forum, to run until May 22, features 18 activities including the centerpiece conference, a trade fair, a cultural week, a tourism forum and a seminar on traditional Chinese medicine. It will be co-hosted by Fuzhou, Quanzhou and Putian, three cities in southeastern China's Fujian Province.

The week-long Straits Forum expects more than 8,000 Taiwan guests, including mayors and magistrates of 25 Taiwan cities and counties as well as heads of key trade organizations on the island.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
TAIWAN COULD GET LOTS MORE TOURISTS WITH SHANGHAI CRUISE SHIP

SHANGHAI, June 25 Asia Pulse - A new cruise recently marketed by local tour agencies that will take travelers from Shanghai to Taiwan via Hong Kong has gained warm market response, particularly among families with children, as the summer vacation is just around the corner, a cruise executive said Wednesday.

According to the executive with the Shanghai Spring International Travel Service, the newly designed trip has been very popular as the first three trips have been fully booked.

He told CNA that many Shanghai parents are very interested in cruising with their kids to Taiwan and Hong Kong during the summer break despite a cost of about 9,000 Chinese yuan (US$1,323) per person for a week.

On the first day of the week-long trip, tourists will fly from Shanghai to Hong Kong, where they will depart for Taiwan the second day on board the SuperStar Aquarius cruise vessel, the executive said.

While in Taiwan, the ship will anchor in Keelung in the north, Taichung in central Taiwan, and Tainan in the south to allow tourists the opportunity to visit these Taiwanese cities.

After wrapping up tours in Taiwan, tourists will sail back to Hong Kong on the cruise ship and take a return flight from Hong Kong to Shanghai.

Each cruise ship can accommodate around 1,500 passengers, which could amount to a tourism windfall for Taiwan if the cruise route continues to be popular.

The executive said many Chinese parents are highly interested in taking part in the trip with their children, but that many of them were forced to drop the plan because the tour is strictly limited to legal residents of Shanghai City, not people who have moved from other parts of the country to live there and are not registered with the city government.

If one of the parents is not a legal Shanghai resident, the whole family will not be able to take part in the tour, the executive said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Taiwan's Kinmen to stage shipwreck drill on cross-strait route

Text of report in English by Taiwanese Central News Agency website

Taipei, July 8 (CNA) - The Kinmen County government is planning to hold a shipwreck drill Sept 15 on the sea route between that offshore county and Xiamen in southern China, and will try to determine whether there is need for the establishment of a joint rescue system with China, a county official said Wednesday.

A preparatory meeting, chaired by Kinmen Magistrate Lee Chu-feng, was held at the county hall Wednesday. It was attended by officials from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the Coast Guard Administration, the Kaohsiung Harbour Bureau, and other relevant county agencies.

Lee pointed out that the number of passengers travelling between Kinmen - a Taiwan-controlled island close to southern China - and China's Xiamen and Chuanchou ports in Fujian Province has increased steeply since the expansion of passenger ferry services between the two sides last June.

The number of passengers on the Kinmen-Xiamen-Chuanchou sea route is expected to reach 1.2 million this year, Lee said.

The heavy cross-Taiwan Strait passenger traffic highlights the importance of an efficient marine rescue system that would help to guarantee safe travel, he added.

According to the local government's preliminary plan, the drill will simulate a collision between a Chinese cargo ship and a passenger boat with 162 people on board en route from Kinmen's Shueitou Pier to Xiamen's Dongdu Wharf.

During the exercise, teams will be sent to the scene to rescue passengers who fell overboard and to treat the wounded.

However, Kinmen may not be able to handle on its own the type of disastrous shipwreck that will be simulated in the drill, although such an accident could occur in Kinmen waters, the county chief said.

The best way to deal with this issue would be to establish a Kinmen-Xiamen rescue operation system that would integrate the resources of the two sides, he suggested.

It is hoped that the exercise will help to determine whether or not there is need for such a joint cross-strait operation, Lee said.

Source: Central News Agency website, Taipei, in English 1100 gmt 8 Jul 09
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cruising into the pages of history
The Standard
Monday, August 03, 2009

The first cruise sailed from Hong Kong to Taiwan yesterday under new rules that allow mainlanders to travel to the island by taking Hong Kong-registered vessels.

Of the 1,500 tourists on board the six-day, five- night trip on SuperStar Aquarius, 800 are from Guangdong, Shanghai and Beijing.

They paid from 5,000 to 9,000 yuan (HK$5,671 to HK$10,208), depending on where they began the trip, and their choice of cabin.

The maiden cruise will call at the Taiwan ports of Tainan, Taichung, and Keelung.

Commissioner for Tourism Margaret Fong Shun-man said the government hopes more cruise firms will explore the Asian market - using Hong Kong as their home port - and study the feasibility of sailing between the mainland, SAR, and Taiwan, and offering multi-destination itineraries.

Fong said Beijing's relaxed travel policy brings more opportunities to Hong Kong's cruise travel industry, as the experience is quite new for most mainlanders.

She said feedback from Guangdong and Guangxi officials showed most mainlanders would choose Hong Kong as their first destination, followed by Taiwan, and that the element of sea travel on the itinerary is very appealing.

"It's difficult to say how much the 800 mainlanders spent in Hong Kong, but statistics suggest a mainlander on average spends about HK$5,600 if they stay overnight in the city," Fong said.

Star Cruises president David Chua Ming-huat said short trips fit the mindset of Asian and mainland travelers, so most cruises are for three to seven days, and seven to 21 days for the European fleet.

Many mainlanders said they were excited to be on the first cruise to Taiwan.

Zhou Lin and his wife said they spent about 9,000 yuan each, including air fares from Beijing to Hong Kong: "We arrived in Hong Kong on Saturday, and spent about HK$50,000 on watches, cosmetics and accessories," Mrs Zhou said.

A Mrs Shao from Shanghai said: "We thought about going to Taiwan before, but it was impossible for political reasons."
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Visa snags force mainlanders to miss historic Taiwan cruise
3 August 2009
SCMP

The first cruise to take mainlanders to Taiwan from Hong Kong left Victoria Harbour yesterday but about 600 mainlanders were unable to go because of visa problems.

Of the 1,500 passengers aboard the voyage by the Star Cruises ship SuperStar Aquarius, which followed an easing in cross-strait relations, about 800 were from the mainland, fewer than the operator said it had expected.

"We had previously expected that more than 1,000 would be mainlanders, but because of visa issues the number was down a bit," Star Cruises president David Chua Ming Huat said. "If there were no problems, over 90 per cent would have been mainlanders." Mr Chua called on Beijing to continue to review and reform visa procedures. He pointed out the visa process was not uniform across the mainland.

"For example, if a couple wants to travel together to Hong Kong for a cruise, and the wife is from Xiamen and the husband is from Qingdao, the visa procedures may require them to return to their home towns to apply for a visa," he said.

The sailing of SuperStar Aquarius on a special six-day, five-night cruise to the ports of Tainan, Taichung and Keelung marks the first time mainland tour groups have travelled to the island on cruise ships from Hong Kong. In April, Beijing relaxed travel restrictions, allowing mainland tour groups to visit Taiwan on cruise ships based in Hong Kong. Previously, these ships were allowed to take the tourists only to Singapore and Vietnam.

Mr Chua said the voyage to Taiwan was in direct response to the new rules, but he added that more sailings may not come until March or April next year because families might be reluctant to take holidays after the school year started.

Demand for the cruise was strong, with the 13-storey vessel fully booked within two weeks, a spokesman said. The cruise cost the mainland passengers between 5,000 yuan (HK$5,700) and 9,000 yuan each, depending on how far they had to travel to get to Hong Kong.

The mainland is seen as a key to further developing the city's cruise market, and the government and international cruise operators are keen to lure the growing numbers of wealthy young travellers. Tourism Commissioner Margaret Fong Shun-man welcomed the new cruise itinerary, saying many of the mainland passengers stayed in Hong Kong overnight and shopped and dined before they boarded the vessel.

She said it was too early to estimate accurately what economic benefit the cruise departure would bring to the city but, on average, overnight mainland visitors each spent HK$5,600 during their time in the city.

Star Cruises joins Royal Caribbean International and Costa Crociere in offering cruises between Hong Kong and Taiwan. Royal Caribbean's 2,435-passenger Rhapsody of the Seas, the largest ship based in the region, and the Legend of the Seas, which can carry just over 2,700 passengers, both sail to Taiwan.

Italian cruise operator Costa will join the market in January with 15 cruises from Keelung and Taichung to Hong Kong in the first half of next year. Fares for the five-day voyage range from US$289 to US$1,999.

Massimo Brancaleoni, vice-president of Costa's Asia-Pacific operations, earlier said he expected the new itinerary to attract about 50,000 passengers, 80 per cent of whom would be mainland visitors travelling to Taiwan via Hong Kong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ailing ports receive China box boost
3 August 2009
Lloyd's List

THE development of cross-strait relations between Taiwan and China that led to the resumption of direct shipping links across the Taiwan Strait last December has provided a much-needed bulwark against the decline in volumes at Taiwan’s main ports.

The island’s three main gateways — Kaohsiung, Keelung and Taichung — have seen a dramatic drop in container volumes this year as a result of the slump in trade caused by the global economic downturn. Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s top performing port, saw box volumes slide 23.2% to 1.9m teu in the first quarter this year compared with a year earlier.

But since direct connections were re- established on December 15 after a break of 49 years, Kaohsiung has seen an increase in the number of containers direct from Chinese ports with 165,000 teu between January and March.

Commenting on the impact of direct links, Evergreen Marine (Taiwan) chairman Arnold Wang said: "Without direct shipping, the financial tsunami would have mauled Taiwan's shipping industry more heavily.

“We now have a deep feeling that economic and trade co-operation across the strait is even more important and urgent than before.”

Latest figures from Kaohsiung Harbour Bureau show the port handled slightly more than 4m teu in the first six months of this year compared with nearly 9.7m teu for the whole of last year. Monthly volumes have averaged more than 700,000 teu since March.

China has been taking the lead in opening up all its major ports to shipping lines keen to establish direct cross-strait services. Chinese operators, notably China Ocean Shipping (Group) and China Merchants, have also expressed interest in investing in Taiwan ports.

Not to be outdone, Kaohsiung Harbour Bureau recently appointed consultants to prepared designs for the upgrade of smaller ports at Penghu and Lonmen-Chienshan to take advantage of direct links across the Taiwan Strait. At Lonmen-Chienshan, the scheme involves the dredging of the navigation channel, extending the breakwater and renovating wharves and associated infrastructure. Work is to be completed in 2011.

This came after Japanese shipping line Nippon Yusen Kaisha reaffirmed its commitment to Kaohsiung after signing a two-year lease extension on June 1 for berth 121 at container terminal 4. NYK handled more than 400,000 teu through Kaohsiung last year, its highest level since it started calling at the port, and accounted for 4.2% of all containerised cargo handled there in 2008.

But Kaohsiung is also expected to come under pressure from home-grown rival Taipei Port Container Terminal to develop a new seven-berth box port at Keelung in the north of the island. The terminal company is a consortium formed by Taiwan’s three largest box lines which has a 50-year concession to build and operate the facility,

The first two berths were inaugurated on February 18 and two more are due to come on-stream on 2010. Evergreen Marine, Yang Ming Marine Transportation and Wan Hai Lines are spending a total of $600m on the 110 ha terminal, which will have capacity to handle 4m teu when all seven berths are completed in 2014.

Indicating the possible threat to Kaohsiung, Evergreen Marine — which has a 50% stake in the Taipei terminal — and Wan Hai have confirmed that 16 services will use the terminal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Shipping holds up discussions between China and Taiwan
6 November 2009
Tradewinds

Shipping is turning out to be the stumbling block in efforts to improve bilateral trade between China and Taiwan.

Taiwan decided against sending a delegation to China recently after the mainland said it needed more time to prepare, while last month, Taiwan also sought a delay, saying its officials were busy answering budget questions in parliament.

The thorny issue of trade across the Taiwan Strait is exercising the English language media on Taiwan, with the Taiwan News saying that the establishment of direct sea links a few years ago has failed to improve the fortunes of one of Taiwan's main ports, Kaohsiung.

The paper pointed out that direct links were supposed to improve trade but that traffic through Kaohsiung in the first half of this year fell 21%. But it seems the real reason Taiwanese shipowners are not reaping the benefits of closer ties to the mainland is that most of Taiwan's fleet operates under foreign flags, which are excluded from the trade.

This latest issue seems to be reinforcing the feeling on the island that Taiwan is playing second fiddle to China, with the Taiwan News concluding that Taiwan's sea ports have been transformed from "Asia-Pacific marine hubs" into "spokes" for Chinese ports, notably Shanghai.

While there are few people in Asia who would disagree that Taiwanese ports are becoming increasingly dominated by neighbouring Chinese hubs, many commentators believe this trend was well underway before any closer ties were agreed.

Nevertheless, the further development of trade may not become an issue if the respective governments cannot find time to meet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Tourism Bureau offers incentives for cruises for Chinese tourists

Taipei, Nov. 20 (CNA) To encourage travel agencies to charter cruises to bring Chinese tourists to Taiwan, the Tourism Bureau announced a rewards program Friday that offers NT$100,000 (US$3,092) in grants for every cruise with at least 150 people that stay more than three days in the country.

According to the Tourism Bureau, it will count a cruise as a return trip. If the number of tourists is less than 150, the amount of the grant will be reduced in proportion to the number of tourists, the bureau said.

Travel agencies will not receive grant money for cruises with fewer than 100 Chinese tourists.

These chartered cruises would have several choices of places in Taiwan where they can stay, including Taiwan proper and the outlying islands of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu. The ports where they can dock the ships at in these places are: Keelung, Taipei, Suao, Kaohsiung, Anping, Taichung, Hualien, Mailiao, Heping, Budai, Liaoluo, Shuitou, Fuao, Baisha and Magong, the bureau added.

While the incentive program does not regulate whether Taiwanese travel agencies are allowed to charter Chinese ships to Taiwan, the Tourism Bureau said it is hoped that the agencies would try to use only Taiwanese ships.

Since Taiwan approved in February an application by Star Cruises, the largest cruise line in the Asia-Pacific, to operate the first direct cross-Taiwan Strait cruise service, more and more Chinese tourists have been coming to Taiwan on cruise ships.

The largest group that came was the one arranged by Chinese Amway (China) Co., Limited, involving over 12,000 Chinese Amway employees, who visited Taiwan between March 16 and May 10 on nine separate cruises. The trips were free incentive sightseeing tours provided by Amway as rewards for the employees' outstanding work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
MOTC plans harbor bureau to oversee port operations
The ministry aims to turn local seaports into commercial port corporations and boost ties with China's second-tier inland ports
29 October 2009
Taipei Times

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications said yesterday it was planning to establish a Harbor Affairs Bureau by 2011 to supervise the operations of all the nation's ports.

Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih told a briefing at the legislature's Transportation Committee that the ministry was also planning to enhance the competitiveness of the nation's international seaports by turning them into commercial port corporations.

CARGO

"We will also take advantage of the opportunity brought by direct cross-strait sea transportation and enhance our ties to some of the second-tier inland river ports in China," Yeh said. "We hope this will help increase the amount of cargo transferred via Taiwan."

The ministry's Aviation and Navigation Department currently supervises the operations of the nation's international commercial seaports, including Keelung Port, Taichung Port, Kaohsiung Port and Hualien Port.

Taipei Port is managed by Keelung Harbor Bureau.

Kaohsiung Port, the nation's largest, fell out of the top 10 global ranking in terms of container cargo handled last year.

The lackluster performance of Kaohsiung Port was the focus of the question-and-answer session at the legislative meeting yesterday, which was scheduled to review the port's operational budget.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Yang Jen-fu said the nation had not benefited from direct transportation services. Instead cargo delivered via Taiwan had gradually dwindled, he said.

Yeh attributed the drop in Kaohsiung's ranking to the global economic downturn, shrinking domestic demand and relocation of the nation's manufacturers to China.

VALUE

"The nation should focus on increasing the value of goods delivered via Taiwan, rather than just raising cargo volume," Yeh said.

Both KMT and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers opposed the ministry's budget plan for the next fiscal year, which seeks to transfer NT$8 billion in seaport construction funding to the treasury.

Yeh said the ministry was indeed short of funds for construction work at Kaohsiung Port, adding that the Executive Yuan may have other considerations on budget allocation.

"We will respect the committee's decision if it insists we keep the fund," he said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
WORLD'S LARGEST CONTAINER SHIPPER PLANS TO REGISTER IN TAIWAN

TAIPEI, Dec 21 Asia Pulse - Danish-based Maersk Line, the world's largest container shipper, is planning to have at least one of its vessels registered in Taiwan to get in on the booming direct shipping services across the Taiwan Strait, a Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) official said Saturday.

This will make Maersk the first foreign shipping company to register in the country, according to deputy minister Yeh Kuang-shih.

The cross-strait route, which was inaugurated in December 2008, is open only to Taiwanese and Chinese vessels or foreign-registered vessels owned by Taiwanese or Chinese shippers. Other ships must detour through a third area when sailing between Taiwan and China.

In the year since the direct shipping links were launched, 10 vessels that were previously registered overseas have now been registered in Taiwan by Taiwanese shippers, MOTC data show.

The direct route is highly attractive to shippers because it reduces their travel time and costs considerably.

Compared with the past when a detour was required, a voyage between Keelung and Shanghai is now eight to nine hours faster, and one between Keelung and Fuzhou is 11 to 12 hours faster.

Transportation costs, meanwhile, are 15-30 percent less.

MOTC statistics show that between Dec. 15, 2008 and Nov. 20, 2009, a total of 161 ships were permitted by Taiwan to operate the cross-strait route.

During that period, there were 10,533 voyages between Taiwan and China carrying more than 1.22 million standard containers and 22.99 million tons of cargo, the statistics showed.

The cross-strait container volume accounted for 10 percent of Taiwan's total container volume during the period.

The MOTC predicted that cross-strait container volume will increase significantly in 2010 as the world economy gradually recovers from a recession triggered by the global financial crisis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Taichung Port Replaces Keelung as Taiwanˇ¦s No. 2 Commercial Port

Taipei, Jan. 19, 2010 (CENS)--Taichung Port has overtaken Keelung Port as Taiwanˇ¦s second-largest commercial port in cargo volume and cargo throughput in 2009, according to statistics from the Taichung Harbor Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC).

This is the first such achievement for Taichung Port since 1976 when the Taichung Port began operations.

C.Y. Wang, director general of Taichung Harbor Bureau, said such success is attributable to direct Cross-strait transportation; while an industry analyst believes the ranking of domestic ports will be reshuffled this year with the Taipei Port in the race.

The Taipei Port will encroach on the cargo volumes handled by Taichung and Keelung ports this year as the Taipei Port has reportedly taken away 1.2 million tons of coal handled by Taichung port.

According to statistics compiled by the MOTC, Taichung Port has seen Cross-strait cargo volume grow 17% since the start of direct Cross-strait transportation in December 2008.

To retain the position as Taiwanˇ¦s second-largest commercial port, Wang said his administration will offer incentives to encourage private investments to facilitate the development of a free trade port.

Taichung Port handled 89.205 million tons of cargo in 2009, down 0.1% from a year earlier, as well as 1.193 million TEUs (twenty-foot-equivalent units) in 2009, down 3.67% from 2008.

Keelung Port handled cargo volume amounting to 69.99 million tons in 2009, down 23.31% year-on-year; while Kaohsiung Port handled 397.19 million tons of cargo in 2009, down 11.54% annually.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Kaohsiung and Xiamen Harbor to Set Up Close Cooperative Link

Taipei, May 11, 2010 (CENS)--Upon the arrival of Chinese passenger-cum-cargo liner COSCO Star in its maiden voyage from Xiamen to Kaohsiung Harbor, the harbor bureau signed a letter of intent with the administration of Xiamen Harbor yesterday (May 10) for cooperation between the two harbors and between Haitsang bonded zone and Kaohsiung free trade zone.

During the ceremony marking the duo events, Huang Xiojing, Fujian provincial governor who was on a visit to Taiwan, hoped that direct shipping link between Kaohsiung and Xiamen can become a regular service. COSCO Star, a ship belonging to China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company with a capacity of 26,847 metric tons, arrived at Kaohsiung Harbor yesterday morning, carrying over 300 passengers.

Hsiao Ting-hsun, chief of Kaohsiung Harbor, noted that it takes less than 10 hours for a ship to travel between Kaohsiung and Xiamen Harbor, which were only 165 nautical miles away, adding that the launch of regular shipping service between the two harbors will greatly enhance tourist exchange of between southern Taiwan and Fujian Province.

Hsiao stressed the profound significance for the cooperation between Kaohsiung and Xiamen Harbor, as well as that between Kaohsiung free trade zone and Haitsang bonded zone, saying that it will contribute to the vertical or horizontal integration between industries in southern Taiwan and the "west Taiwan-Strait" economic zone in Fujian, thereby enhancing overall industrial competitiveness of both sides.

Hsiao revealed that to accommodate its future development, Kaohsiung Harbor will develop a "mother harbor" base for passenger liners, which will include an international passenger terminal, scheduled for inauguration in 2014, as well as a dedicated dock for major international passenger liners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Taiwan Amends Law To Waive Tax For Cross-Strait Links Operators
28 May 2010

TAIPEI (Dow Jones)--Taiwan's legislature approved Friday an amendment to the law governing cross-strait relations that will pave the way for the two sides to waive value-added and corporate income taxes for airlines and shipping companies operating direct flights and shipping links between Taiwan and China, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

Taiwan and China launched direct air and sea links in December 2008 and agreed in April last year to waive the two taxes for companies on both sides of the strait. However, they couldn't implement the agreement because Taiwan's legislature hadn't amended the relevant statute, the ministry said in the statement.

'As our carriers couldn't enjoy the tax waiver in China, this increased their operating costs,' the finance ministry said in the statement.

Chinese authorities agreed not to levy the VAT and corporate income tax on Taiwanese carriers' cross-strait operations pending the passage of the amendment in Taiwan. However, the Taiwanese companies couldn't remit the money they earned in China to Taiwan because China still demands proof that taxes have been paid before it allows companies to remit funds, even though it had waived the taxes, an official at the ministry's Taxation Agency said. She declined to be named.

The revision will allow them to repatriate their earnings, the official said.

John Chang, vice president for finance at China Airlines Ltd. (2610.TW), Taiwan's largest airline by revenue, said the company has CNY900 million (US$131.8 million) in China that it can now remit to Taiwan.

EVA Airways Corp. (2618.TW), China Airlines' smaller rival, has around CNY400 million in China that can now be remitted, a person familiar with the matter said, declining to be named.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Chinese mainland, Taiwan open new passenger sea route
July 04, 2010

A new regular direct passenger sea route between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan was officially opened Saturday after a ship safely returned from Taiwan.

The passenger ship, Coscostar, returned to the Damaiyu Port, Taizhou City of eastern Zhejiang Province Saturday, making it the second port on the mainland that has served the regular direct sea route with Taiwan, said He Jinliang, deputy head of the city's Taiwan affairs office.

On June 26, the ship, carrying more than 500 passengers, traveled about 302 km to the Keelung Port of Taiwan, He said.

With a tonnage of 26,800, the ship, owned by the China Ocean Shipping Companies Group, could carry about 600 passengers, 256 containers and 150 automobiles.

The ship is scheduled to shuttle once a week. It will depart from Damaiyu in Yuhuan County on Saturday night and return the following Friday. The single trip would take eight to nine hours, traveling at various speed.

Wang Yihao, deputy head of Yuhuan County, said the standard ticket costs 600 yuan (88.6 U.S.dollars) and the deluxe class ticket costs 1,000 yuan.

"The prices are nearly half that of airline tickets. With this new route, cross-Strait travel will be much easier, more comfortable and will attract more mainland tourists to Taiwan," Wang said.

In August 2009, the first regular direct sea route was launched to link eastern Fujian Province's Xiamen Port and Taiwan's Taichung Port and Keelung Port.

Source: Xinhua
 

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Taipei Harbor to launch direct service to mainland
CNA
April 28, 2013

TAIPEI--Following in the footsteps of Keelung and Taichung, Taipei Harbor will launch a direct passenger service between Taiwan and China on May 13, Taiwan International Ports Corp. (TIPC) said yesterday.

The company said a passenger-cargo dual-use ship operated by Taiwan-based Wagon Shipping Co. will sail from Taipei to Pingtan in Fujian province and back once a day five days per week.

The ship will have a capacity of 800 passengers, and the trip will take 2 hours and 45 minutes each way, the company said.

The service will be the latest addition to a growing lineup of cruise ferry services being offered across the Taiwan Strait, even if, at present, the ships are generally less than 50-percent full, according to TIPC.

The Cosco Star, operated by the China-based Cosco Group, now sails between Xiamen and Taichung and Xiamen and Keelung once a week. More of a cruise liner with a capacity of around 680 passengers, the Cosco Star is not a high-speed ship and takes about 13 hours to sail between Taiwan and China's southeastern coast.

China-based Fujian Cross Strait Ferry currently offers one round trip a day five days a week between Taichung and Pingtan, with each leg taking about three hours.

TIPC said most of the passengers using ferries between Taiwan and China at present are Chinese group tourists.
 
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