The Cabinet-level Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) approved a plan Monday to inject NT$20.9 billion (US$633.52 million) over the next four years to improve the competitiveness of Kaohsiung Port.
The CEPD made the decision at a regular meeting of its members held to review the development plans of three ports on the west coast of Taiwan — Kaohsiung, Anping, and Budai — and Magong Port on the outlying island of Penghu.
Noting that Taipei Port in Taipei County’s Wanli township is near completion, CEPD members said that after the new port becomes operational at the end of 2008, it is expected to cause Kaohsiung to lose 5 percent of its containers business, estimated at 500,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units).
Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s largest port, was the world’s third busiest container port in 1999, but gradually lost its competitive edge and dropped to sixth place in 2005, according to a survey by London-based Container International Monthly.
The CEPD members expressed confidence that Kaohsiung harbor’s annual container handling will not show negative growth after the CEPD spends NT$20.9 billion between 2007 and 2011 to renovate its wharves and improve its transport links in an attempt to boost its competitiveness.