Barcelona, Spain (PortSEurope) November 15, 2019 – The ports of Barcelona and Yokohama have agreed to work together to develop their infrastructures, promote initiatives focused on sustainability, co-develop technology and institutional relations, with the aim of jointly finding new business opportunities and promoting trade between Japan and Spain.
Yokohama is also interested in strengthening ties with Barcelona both at the port and city level, which could include exchange projects in the fields of training and sports.
Yokohama is, like Barcelona, a diversified port that handles different types of merchandise, including containers and cars, serving the Tokyo metropolitan area, an area with many consumers, industrial activities and established import and export businesses. The port moved 3 million TEU in 2018, is expanding the draft of the current terminals to 18 metres deep and is preparing the construction of a new terminal.
Yokohama is interested in environmental sustainability and the new terminal includes strict environmental measures – an example is an original construction solution of the dock drawers, which are drilled to facilitate the passage of fish.
Like Barcelona, Yokohama wants to supply ships with liquified natural gas (LNG) fuels. Yokohama is the first port of call on trips from the U.S. The promotion of LNG as an alternative fuel is an area in which both port facilities can collaborate, as in the case of cruise ships. Yokohama currently has about 190 annual cruise stops, mostly as a home port. In May 2020 it plans to handle on the same day, and can learn from the experiences of the Spanish port.
“For the Port of Barcelona it is a great opportunity to be in contact and be able to sign an agreement with the Port of Yokohama,” said Mercè Conesa. And he highlighted the success of the port-city projects initiated. “The two ports have a common challenge: to continue advancing in the integration between the services we offer and the demands of the citizens. The Port of Barcelona had a great opportunity with the 1992 Olympic Games, and 2020 will be a great opportunity for the port and for the city of Yokohama, when Japan hosts the Games.
The agreement was finalised by president of the Port of Barcelona, Mercè Conesa, and the mayor of Yokohama and president of port, Fumiko Hayashi; the general director of the Japanese port, Hiroya Nakano, and the general director of Coordination, Hisataka Uematsu.
Barcelona port has a business mission in Japan this week and a total of 225 Japanese businessmen 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.
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