GREATER CHINA SHIPPERS’ COUNCILS HOLD FIRST MEETING
Shippers’ councils of mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau have held their first joint meeting, when they convened for a Work Promotion Meeting in Hong Kong on June 18-19.
The meeting was attended by the Shanghai Consignor Association for International Trade, the Taiwan Shippers’ Council, the Hong Kong Shippers’ Council, the Macau Shippers’ Association and the China National Enterprises Association for Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation.
The Guangdong Shippers’ Council Preparatory Committee also attended in an observer capacity.
“The meeting aimed at becoming a regular exchange forum for the shippers’ groups to better understand each other’s organization and the role each of the associations played in their particular community,” the Hong Kong Shippers’ Council said. During the meeting, each organization gave a briefing on the structure of its association, the freight market situation, and import/export trade in its individual areas.
They discussed how to strengthen the cooperation of the shippers’ bodies in the greater China region and “take collective action for mutual benefit, in particular on issues affecting the freight market,” according to the Hong Kong Shippers’ Council.
On the question of terminal handling charges — a contentious issue for Asian shippers’ councils — the shippers’ representative organizations agreed to exchange information regularly. The councils will exchange and compare information provided by shipping companies on the calculation formulas for terminal handling charges as applied to their particular area, as well as the costing components used by the shipping companies.
The shippers’ councils delegates also agreed “to exchange information regularly on freight rates, trade and shipping statistics, and the structure of tariffs,” the Hong Kong Shippers’ Council said.
Also discussed at the meeting were the antitrust immunity rules applicable in major trading regions of the world.
The delegates agreed that the meeting promoted “solidarity and greater understanding among shippers in the greater China region.” It was noted that the Work Promotion Meeting’s importance and significance would grow once the China National Shippers’ Council is set up, as coverage would include all major shipping regions in the mainland. Mainland China has several local shippers’ representative associations, but no national one.
The Greater China shippers’ councils plan to have their second meeting in May 2002 in Shanghai, where they will invite shipping lines’ representatives.