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Interview: Logistics giant Maersk sees huge potential in China market

Abstract : China has embraced tremendous changes in the past two decades and has presented huge market potential with its endeavor to pursue high-quality development and promote regional connectivity, said Jens Eskelund, managing director of Maersk China Ltd.

BOAO, Hainan, April 21 (Xinhua) — China has embraced tremendous
changes in the past two decades and has presented huge market potential
with its endeavor to pursue high-quality development and promote
regional connectivity, said Jens Eskelund, managing director of Maersk
China Ltd.

“China joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 was
absolutely transformative,” he told Xinhua in an exclusive interview on
the sidelines of the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia.

Recalling the old days after having lived in China for three decades,
Eskelund said the country was a reasonably big trading nation and an
important one, but the size then was nowhere near that of today.

China’s total imports and exports of goods expanded 1.9 percent year
on year to 32.16 trillion yuan (about 4.94 trillion U.S. dollars) last
year, hitting a record high despite a worldwide slump in shipments.

“It is hard to overestimate how big a change joining the WTO has
brought to China in basically any respect, especially in terms of
personal income, quality of life and opportunities for young people in
China,” he said.

Looking forward, Eskelund said China’s aim to help increase the
disposable incomes of its people indicates that there will also be
growth in consumption. “We expect that also translates into growth in
trade.”

Increasing people’s incomes, boosting domestic consumption, and
seeking to foster a world-class business environment, among others, are
high on the agenda in a blueprint for China’s development over the next
five years and beyond.

Eskelund, who is also the vice chairman of the European Chamber of
Commerce in China, said another area of huge potential is trade in
services between China and Europe. The two sides can work together to
enhance mutual market access and cooperation.

Eskelund said he hopes China’s opening-up trend that led to a surge of trade in goods between the two sides would continue.

When the COVID-19 pandemic induced huge challenges for maritime and
air transports last year, Maersk’s intercontinental rail freight service
between China and Europe provided an alternative solution for global
supply chains with much faster growth in volume.

The company had arranged a total of 210 tailored intercontinental
trains from China to European countries including Germany and France.

Eskelund, however, noted that while China’s ports and maritime
transport are efficient, there is still a gap between the inland areas
and big port cities.

Eskelund said that he has observed a very significant willingness and
understanding of the ability of efficient logistics to foster economic
growth in the inland areas.

“There’s a very big potential in making logistics available on
locations that are not very well connected with international trade
routes,” Eskelund added, hailing the concept of connectivity embedded in
the country’s Belt and Road Initiative.

“Over the years, we saw how China has gone out and focused on
creating connectivity through building highways and container ports,” he
said.

Going out and creating the right infrastructure can be a powerful
enabler of trade and bring countries together, Eskelund added. Enditem

About Xinhua Silk Road

Xinhua Silk Road (en.imsilkroad.com) is the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) portal.China’s silk road economic belt and the 21st century maritime silk road website,includes BRI Policy,BRI Trade,BRI Investment,Belt and Road weekly,Know Belt and Road,and the integrated information services for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Source: Interview: Logistics giant Maersk sees huge potential in China market

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