Barcelona, Spain (PortSEurope) November 12, 2019 – A total of 225 Japanese businessmen have attended a “business mission” event in Tokyo, organised by Barcelona port to promote its capabilities as a port for Japanese goods being exported to Europe.
The general director of the Ports & Harbors Bureau of the Ministry of Territory, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan, Masayuki Takada, said that Japan woud increase its commercial exchanges with Europe through the Port of Barcelona, a very important infrastructure for trade between Asia and the Mediterranean. Takada explained that Barcelona maintains relations with different ports in Japan, such as Yokohama or Tokyo, and that forecasts point to an increase in exchanges in traffic such as cars, wine and the meat sector.
On the other hand, the general director of the Japanese Ports & Harbors Bureau recalled that the deputy general director of Strategy and Commercial of the Port of Barcelona, Santiago Garcia-Milà, is the president of the IAPH (International Association of Ports & Harbors), an association which intends to intensify relations between ports internationally and Japan as a founding member. Masayuki Takada has also referred to the role of Barcelona in the field of cruises, which Japanese ports are developing.
The president of the Port of Barcelona, Mercè Conesa, highlighted during a speech the “privileged situation” of the Catalan port for traffic with Japan. “The Port of Barcelona is the best node for the redistribution in Europe of goods from Asia,” he said. “Specifically, if you opt for Barcelona, Asian companies can benefit from a saving in distribution costs of up to 15% – compared to the ports of northern Europe – and a reduction of the carbon footprint of up to 20%”, said the president.
Mercè Conesa also emphasized the important role played by the Port of Barcelona as the main centre of entry and exit of trade between the Spain and Japan. In fact, the Port of Barcelona channels 50% of bilateral trade between the two countries in terms of volume and 55.9% with respect to the value of the goods. In 2018, total merchandise traffic between the Port of Barcelona and Japan increased by 17.9%, totaling almost 457,000 tons. In containers, growth stood at 24.8%, adding more than 30,400 TEU.
The president highlighted car traffic between the Port of Barcelona and Japan. Making it clear that “Barcelona is one of the main European hubs of the automotive industry, a sector in which Japan is leading ,” Mercè Conesa recalled that an important part of the new vehicles that are channeled through the Port of Barcelona originate in the Asian country. In 2018, 61,850 vehicles with origin or destination Japan passed through the port. The majority were imports, which totaled 49,239 units.
The importance of these traffics is evident in the fact that, currently, eight international shipping companies transport cars, four of them Japanese: Hoegh Autoliners, Nissan Motor Car Carrier, Mitsui OSK Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, K Line, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, Eukor Car Carriers and Hyundai Glovis, as highlighted by Carles Mayol, sales manager of the Port of Barcelona, during his speech on the opening day of the business mission.
The session had a large institutional representation. Participants included the Minister of Territory and Sustainability, Damià Calvet; the Minister of Business and Knowledge, Àngels Chacón; the ambassador of Spain to Japan, Jorge Toledo Albiñana, and leading Japanese authorities, such as the general director of the Tokyo port, Hiromi Furuya; the general secretary of the Japan Spain Business Co-operation Committee (JCCI), Kazuo Nishitani; and the executive vice president of JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization), Yoshitaka Hoshino.
During her speech at the inaugural session of the Business Mission, Mercè Conesa recalled that “all the ports in the world have a great challenge ahead: continue to generate prosperity.
And we have to do it creating a high economic and social value, always with environmental responsibility. The Port of Barcelona responds to this great challenge “betting on innovation, digital transformation and sustainability”.
The president of the Port of Barcelona has taken the opportunity to present the event “Smart Ports. Piers of the Future”, which will take place next week in the framework of the Smart City Expo World
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