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Published On: Tue, Sep 12th, 2017

Chinese Cosco now owns entire container terminal in Belgian port of Zeebrugge

nsnbc : The Chinese Cosco Shipping has become the sole owner of container terminals including former APM terminals in Belgium’s West Flemish port of Zeebrugge.

Belgium_Zeebrugge container terminal_APM_Cosco_2017The news came in a press release issued by APM (A.P. Møller) Terminals on Monday. APM terminals has been in the outport of Zeebrugge since 2006.

The company currently holds 51 percent of shares  in the port’s container terminal that has the capacity to ship 1 million tons of 20 foot containers per year.

Cosco has since 2014 held a 24 percent interest in the container terminal. The remaining 25 percent of shares in the terminal are held by the Shanghai International Port Group.

However, APM is set to buy back these shares and together with the shares it holds in the terminal, to sell them to Cosco Shipping Ports, a subsidiary of Cosco Shipping. This means that the Chinese shipping line will become the sole owner of the Zebrugge container terminal.

Press release claims “business as usual” but omits “globalization”. nsnbc editor asks “what’s next, a naval base?”

The press release issued by APM Terminal reads “The decision to withdraw from the Zeebrugge terminal is part of our strategy to focus on our core activities in the long term. … We are convinced that Cosco is the best long-term owner for this site and we are convinced that it will provide growth for the customers, the employees and the stakeholders at the port”.

APM Terminals also claims that there will be no changes in the way that the terminal opperates. There is no word as to the amount the Chinese shipping line has paid. It will probably take several months both the transaction has been completed.

What will be entirely different, however, is that the container terminal in one of Europe’s major ports, will be solely owned by a Chinese enterprise. The development puts to rest – again – the myth of an east – west divide with regard to globalization. Critics fear the Chinese monopoly in the key European port will give the “people’s republic” of China more muscle when it comes to negotiating wages and working conditions with trade unions.

nsnbc editor-in-chief Christof Lehmann, in a phone conversation Tuesday morning, said: “What’s next? The people’s republic opening a naval base in Zebrugge to protect China’s strategic investments? – Already we have a Chinese vessel participate in the Russia- Belarus 2017 Zapad military drills”.

F/AK – nsnbc 12.09.2017

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  1. Penelope says:

    Of the 100 terminals in the US’s largest 15 ports, close to 90% are foreign-managed– quite a few by China. Doesn’t China run the Panama Canal, too?

    Yet we’re supposed to believe the US and China are opponents. Looks to me more like the oligarchs of China and the West are integrating economically.

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