SHANGHAI, July 15 (Xinhua) -- The 2019 Xinhua-Baltic Exchange international shipping center development (ISCD) index was released on July 11 simultaneously in Shanghai, London and Singapore.
The newly released index shows that Singapore, Hong Kong and London are the top three international shipping centers in the world, with Shanghai and Dubai following closely behind.
China Economic Information Service (CEIS), a wholly-owned company of Xinhua News Agency, unveiled the report of the index jointly with representatives of the Baltic Exchange in Shanghai, the main site of the launch.
Press conference for releasing the 2019 Xinhua-Baltic Exchange ISCD index in Shanghai
The index shows that the global shipping industry is changing profoundly. Shanghai, ranked fourth, is catching up with the top three shipping centers, thanks to the rapidly-developing shipping handling system, continuous improvement in shipping service capacities and business environment, and innovative free-trade measures.
Promotional video of the ISCD index is displayed on a large screen in Lujiazui, Shanghai
Press conferences were held in London and Singapore for the first time this year, where experts from local governments and fields of shipping, finance and law are invited to discuss new trends of international shipping, and opportunities the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) brought to the shipping industry.
Mark Jackson, CEO of the Baltic Exchange, speaks through VCR at the press conference in Shanghai
"We are delighted to unveil the index report at the same time in Shanghai, London and Singapore, the three important cities in the global shipping industry. They all have world-beating shipping centers and ports, and each has its own particular strengths and specialties," says Mark Jackson, CEO of the Baltic Exchange.
This year we dig in depth into how the BRI influences the shipping industry. As the trade volume of Asian and other nearby countries goes up, we expect to see more shipping businesses emerge in cities with huge ports, for instance, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, he said.
Press conference in London
Experts at London's event believe China and Britain have a large cooperation space in the shipping industry as they complement each other.
Singapore claims the first place in the ranking of the index for the sixth consecutive year. "Singapore shows strength in ship management and ship brokerage services, which is commensurate with its status as the shipping hub of the Asia-Pacific region," according to the report.
At Singapore's conference, Lu Su Ling, head of Baltic Exchange Asia, said "Singapore commands a strategic position as a maritime hub in the regional and global arena. The maritime industry is, and will remain, a big contributor to Singapore's economy and it is therefore important that we continue to innovate and invest in this sector to achieve long-term success."
Press conference in Singapore
In 2014, China Economic Information Service, in collaboration with the Baltic Exchange, introduced the first Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index, which has been gaining international influence in the last six years.
(Contributed by Xiao Jintao; edited by Yang Qi)