North Adriatic - bridge between Europe and Asia


Within the North Adriatic Ports Association, Luka Koper attended between 10th and 13th May the Transport & Logistics Fair in Munich – the largest such fair in Europe, with nearly 1,900 exhibitors from 59 countries.
The decision to participate at this year's fair in conjunction with the ports of Ravenna, Venice, Trieste and Rijeka came naturally to Luka Koper. Indeed, ever more fierce global competition means a tougher struggle to secure cargo flows. Ports within the NAPA handle 100 million tonnes of cargo per year, whereas the Port of Rotterdam alone recorded 430 million-tonne cargo throughout in 2010. Only by working together can the North Adriatic ports provide capacities sufficient to attract critical quantities of cargo to the Adriatic. The key to achieving this objective is the excellent geo-strategic location and connections to the hinterland markets.
The presentation on 11th May was addressed by Giuseppe Parrello, President of Ravenna Port Authority, who pointed out the temporal and cost advantages provided by the Adriatic transport route for cargo from the Far East and Eastern Mediterranean. NAPA was supported by representatives of three member states – Mr Danijel Mileta, State Secretary at the Croatian Ministry of Transport, Mr Filippo Scamarga del Murgo, the Italian consul in Munich, and Mr Igor Jakomin, State Secretary at the Slovene Ministry of Transport, who said: »In addition to a shorter route, I would like to point out the environmental benefits, due to the fact that it guarantees lower fuel consumption and consequently lower CO2 emissions, which is the most sustainable long-term solution.«
At the fair, the representatives of the NAPA ports and the Port Association of the German federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommen signed a cooperation agreement aimed at the construction of modern and efficient transport links between the North Adriatic and the Baltic Sea.
 Igor Jakomin, State Secretary at the Slovene Ministry of Transport
Signed cooperation agreement between Luka Koper and  Port Authority of Thailand
On 11th May, a round table entitled »Thailand and North Adriatic Ports as Links Between Southeast Asia and Europe« was organised within the fair. The discussion was focused on the identification of opportunities for closer cooperation by ports on both sides. We hosted the President of the Thai Port Authority, Mr Chalor Kotcharat, and Mr Alexander Hoeckle, the representative of the Bavarian Chamber of Commerce. They both agreed there is huge potential on both sides, corroborated by the fact that the Port of Koper handled only 50,000 tonnes of Thai cargo in 2010, whereas Thailand recorded that same year a seven percent growth in GDP and a 25 percent export increase. Hoeckle added: »The cargo throughput for Bavaria via the Port of Koper is – particularly in regard to the railway connections – as yet, rather limited. On the other hand, it doesn't make sense for cargo to travel to Bavaria via the longer route to the north of Germany, thus it is our goal to promote the development of the North Adriatic ports and improved transport links.«
The President of the Luka Koper Management Board Mr Gregor Veselko believes the key to success is an increase in capacity: »Luka Koper supports all infrastructure projects in the region. Indeed, this is the only way for North Adriatic ports to become competitive with those in Northern Europe. If we want, for example, to attract cargo from Thailand - with whom today we sign a cooperation agreement – and be open to Asia in general, we will all have to increase our capacities.«
The State Secretary Mr Igor Jakomin also participated at the round table and referred to the construction of the Slovene railway infrastructure. According to Jakomin, a second track will be completed as anticipated, meaning that the work will start in the second half of 2011 and be completed by 2017. Furthermore, the Ministry of Transport is striving to utilise dedicated funds provided by Brussels. In this respect the support of the European Commission to the existing plans for transport corridors connecting the North Adriatic to the European transport network is of extreme importance.
Chalermchai Meekun-Iam, director general of Port Authority of Thailand and 
Gregor Veselko, president of the management board of Luka Koper