İMEAK Chamber of Shipping İzmir Branch Chairman Yusuf Öztürk stated that despite the Kovid-19 global epidemic, which created supply and demand-induced shocks in the global supply chain, maritime transport and ports have passed a successful test, and said that the global maritime industry will maintain its strategic importance in 2021.
Stating that Turkish ports will close the year 2020 with very little loss despite the difficulties created by the pandemic in the global economy, Öztürk said, “1 million 570 thousand TEU containers were handled in the ports in the İzmir region in January-November this year. For the whole year, İzmir Ports will reach a handling figure of 1 million 673 thousand TEU last year ”.
BELT AND ROAD PROJECT
Expressing that China will continue to be the locomotive of the world economy in the new year, Öztürk emphasized that the investments that will enable İzmir Ports to be positioned in the Belt and Road Project, which connects the Far East to Europe by sea and rail, should be accelerated in 2021. Öztürk said, “The North Aegean Çandarlı Port Project should be designed with the concept of a free zone where the ship maintenance-repair base, supply center, ship fuel supply station and production zones are located next to the container port. Çandarlı, the vision project of our country, will be an important transfer center in the Belt and Road Project with its Southeast Europe and Black Sea connections ”.
Noting that İzmir’s port and sea city identity will be strengthened with TCDD İzmir Alsancak Port’s waterway deepening works and İzmir Bay Dredging Project, Öztürk said: “Kemalpaşa logistics center is completed and opened to operation, integrating the seaway, railway and highway, will increase the ability to become a logistics transfer center. Increase in our logistics performance will not only bring competitive power to our country’s exports but also will enable us to attract new international investments. We must improve our regional maritime transport in line with trade wars and pandemic strengthening the regionalization trend in world trade. In order to increase trade in our region and to improve freight transportation in the cabotage line, we bayraklı We must expand our fleet of ships ”.
Stating that 2020 is a lost year in tourism due to the pandemic, Öztürk said that the sea tourism sector can offer innovative solutions to people’s isolated holiday demands with the concept of “Blue Voyage”. Öztürk said, “In the new season, we will continue to promote Blue Voyage and yacht tourism for international markets and domestic tourism. We believe that we will see cruise ships in our country’s ports, albeit slowly. Our biggest wish is that 2021, as a result of vaccination, will be a year in which success will be achieved in the fight against Kovid-19 and humanity will attain health, peace and peace ”