Koper, 7th January 2014: Luka Koper's Management Board President Gašpar Gašpar Mišič today met with His Excellency Mr Zhang Xianyi, Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to Slovenia, and his colleagues. The Ambassador spent most of the day in Koper, commencing his visit at Koper Municipality where he was received by Mayor Boris Popovič. This was followed by a meeting with Luka Koper Management Board President Mr Gašpar Mišič, who presented Mr Zhang with an overview of the development of the Port of Koper, as well as its future plans and potentials for increasing trade with China.
China is one of Luka Koper’s most important partners, and accounts for nearly one sixth - i.e. almost 900,000 tonnes - of total container traffic at the Port’ of Koper. "China is becoming an economic superpower, regularly achieving the world’s highest rates of economic growth. Over the coming years we anticipate a significant increase in trade with the Far East, particularly China, a nation with which Koper already enjoys direct container services," commented Mr Gašpar Mišič, who visited China during the Christmas period.
Together with Koper Mayor Mr Boris Popovič, Mr Gašpar Mišič visited the port in Hong Kong which has a capacity of some 18 million TEUs per year, making it one the largest container ports in the world. Their Chinese tour continued in Shanghai where they visited one of the city’s three deepwater seaports - Yangshan - which enjoys an annual cargo throughput of 12 million TEUs. Yangshan Port is constructed on an island connected to the mainland by a 32-kilometre long bridge, one of the longest in the world. In Shanghai, Luka Koper’s Management Board President met with representatives of the Third Harbour Design Company, which made the plans for the construction of the port, as well as representatives of the China Railway Shanghai Design Institute which engineered the port’s rail links. Mr Gašpar Mišič also met the Director of the Shanghai Chamber of Commerce, Mr Liu Min, and his colleagues, as well as the representatives of various logistics companies, the Secretary General of the Shanghai Pudong Logistics Association Mr Huimin Tao, together with the representative of the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone United Development Co., with whom they shared their views in relation to the development and opportunities of free trade zones.
At the end of their visit, the Management Board President and the Mayor of Koper visited the city of Ningbo, a city of some seven million people located south of Shanghai. Enjoying an enviable annual nine percent annual growth, Ningbo’s a port handles 13 million TEUs per year. Here the Slovene representatives discussed the possibilities of collaboration between the port cities of Ningbo and Koper with Mr Hong Jiaxiang, Ningbo’s Deputy Mayor, and his colleagues.
Mr Drago Napotnik, the Consul of the Republic of Slovenia in Shanghai, participated in the organisation of the major portion of this visit to China. Indeed, Mr Napotnik continues to excel with his commitment and assistance in establishing contacts and commercial links with China.