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Friday, 24 November 2017

(The Star) ‘Carey Island mega project will take us higher’

KUALA LUMPUR: The mega port industrial city project at Carey Island will ease the congestion and bottleneck at Port Klang, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said the port city project, which is still in the planning stages, was a vital part of the Government’s effort to further boost the country’s position as the top hub in the region.

“We will have a port city there, not just a port. It will give a boost to Carey Island, and this is our long-term plan,” he told the media at the launch of Pikom’s 9th Leadership Summit 2017, yesterday.

The Carey Island Port is a massive port-industrial city project with infrastructure investments of more than RM200bil covering an area of over 100sq km – more than twice the size of Putrajaya. It was announced in January.

“We cannot be satisfied with the current 30 million TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) of container cargo. Carey Island will carry an additional capacity of 30 million TEUs.

“At the moment, both Northport and Westport can only handle 30 million TEUs so we need to implement the project as soon as possible,” he said.

Liow, who is also the National Logistics Task Force chairman, said the development of Carey Island will cover more than 5,000 acres (2,000ha) off Port Klang, aimed at managing the traffic shipment across Asia.

“We are hoping to draw cargo shipments from southern Thailand, and Sumatra in Indonesia to strengthen Port Klang’s position as the biggest hub in the region,” he said.

On a separate matter, Liow said all stakeholders must capitalise on the growing e-commerce market as the country is targeting to increase air cargo volume in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport by 2.3 million to three million tonnes by 2050 from the current 726,000 tonnes.

“E-commerce is the fastest growing facet of trade across the world, and we are seeing more and more cross-border trading.

“Consumers can buy products anywhere online and expect delivery within a short time,” he said.

He added that small and medium enterprises must quickly embrace opportunities, including the Alibaba platform, to boost market visibility.

“Alibaba was able to garner a sales record of RM104.86bil (US$25bil) during its Singles’ Day sale.

“I note that the Singles’ Day sale by our e-commerce operators was impressive. Lazada experienced explosive growth in Malaysia and across the region, racking up about RM96.4mil (US$23mil) in sales with 6.5 million items ordered by shoppers. I foresee a huge potential for our logistics service providers to perform the last mile delivery,” said Liow.