Taiwan is considering a project to build a new port outside Kaohsiung to make the southern gateway a regional container center for Asia. The cabinet-level Council for Economic Planning and Development has drawn up the plan, estimated to cost 200 billion New Taiwan dollars ($5.8 billion), which 'will receive priority attention from government,' a spokesman said.
Kaohsiung in 2000 posted volume of 7.42 million TEUs, an increase of 7% versus the previous year. But it slipped one notch, to fourth, after South Korea's Pusan among the world's largest container ports.Pusan's growth was fueled by traffic from China, something Kaohsiung can't compete with unit direct trade routes are opened.
Taiwan has decided to enhance the functions of the designated 'offshore' transshipment center at Kaohsiung even before Taipei and Beijing sign any agreement on direct transport links.
An ambitious plan to turn Kaohsiung into a global business operations center has taken off with the recent launching of the sea/air joint transshipment center. The second step will involve extending the runway at Kaohsiung airport so that it can accommodate large freighters.
Ho Mei-yueh, vice chairman of the economic agency, said the government will pump NT$3-4 billion into the project to develop and promote use of the harbor and airport as 'twin ports.'
Kaohsiung also announced plans for an upgrade of its supply chain management, including a revamp of the port administration.
P.T. Bangsberg can be reached at 011-632-526-2432 or