JOHOR BARU: The expansion of intra-Asean trade will boost the capacity utilisation of ports in the region, said Johor Port Authority (JPA) General Manager Muhammad Razif Ahmad.
He said the Asean port and shipping industry was trying its best to promote trade and gear up towards this development.
“I believe ports will benefit when investors come in. It doesn’t really matter whether the investments go to Malaysia or other Asean countries because when they trade goods, there will be a lot of movement (of goods) within Asean,” he told reporters after the 16th Asean Ports and Shipping 2018 Conference and Exhibition was launched here today by Transport Ministry Deputy Secretary-General Mohd Khairul Adib Abdul Rahman.
Muhammad Razif noted that Asean ports had a huge potential, with Asean being the third biggest economy in Asia and seventh largest in the world.
He declined to comment on the claim that ports in Malaysia were far behind the nearest competitor, Singapore, in terms of operational efficiency but mentioned that a study by an independent body, which he did not name, had found that they were on par with the latter.
Meanwhile, Mohd Khairul Adib said in his speech that Malaysian ports handled 23.9 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers last year – with overall cargo value of RM480 billion – compared with 4.6 million TEUS in 2000.
He said two leading container ports, Port Klang and Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP), had been consistently ranked among the top 20 container ports in the world, with the latest rankings showing Port Klang in 13th place and PTP 19th in terms of container volume handled.