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Big plans ahead for Penang Port

Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) will spend RM350 million over the next three years to boost export trade growth, especially from Southern Thailand, through the North Butterworth Terminal Container (NBCT).

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the amount was on top of the RM300 million spent by PPSB in the past two years to transform the port from a feeder port to a main port of international standards.

He said among the initiatives discussed was the revival of the free commercial zone plan, which had been put on hold for a long time under the previous administration.

“After Pakatan Harapan (PH) came into power we revived the plan and are currently awaiting a final report from the Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia (JUPEM) which will be given to the consultative committee, before being submitted to the Finance Ministry.

“This will help develop trade growth for the port,” he said after a working visit to the NBCT this afternoon.

Lim had a dialogue session with all the stakeholders in the logistics sector to further boost the growth of the port.

Present were Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) chief executive officer Sashedharan Vasudevan and Penang Port Commission chairman Jeffrey Chew Gim Eam and its general manager Monaliza Suhaimi.

Also discussed, according to Lim, were ways to further increase trade export volume from Southern Thailand to the port.

“Last year, we got good news, in terms of market share, we managed to increase it (trade export volume) to 72 per cent from 60 per cent the year before, the highest percentage we ever recorded in history.

“Many of the Southern Thailand traders sent their goods for export using our port.

“As such, we need to ensure that in terms of efficiency of the port, we can increase our capacity to accommodate the growing demands. Only then can we be a main port of international standard to attract more foreign traders to use our port.

“We can’t be demanding of the local market, which is very small. We need to attract the growing foreign market as it is a very important market. That is the worldwide trend now,” he added, noting that a consultative committee involving the relevant government agencies have been set up to address any arising issues.

Lim said, as such, PPSB, should seize the opportunity now to further develop the port for the future.
Source: Straits Times

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