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Pyeongtaek Port to expand trade role amid China FTA

The nation’s fourth largest harbor, Pyeongtaek Port, is eyeing a bigger role in trade between South Korea and China following the official signing of a free trade agreement between the nations in June, an official from the Gyeonggi Pyeongtaek Port Corp. said Monday. 

Kim Jeong-hun, director of Gyeonggi Pyeongtaek Port Corp.
Kim Jeong-hun, director of Gyeonggi Pyeongtaek Port Corp.

“Following the FTA between Korea and China, Pyeongtaek Port’s role will be strengthened as it is the nearest port to China and a gateway to the central region of Korea,” said Kim Jeong-hun, strategic planning team director of the port corporation.

Despite its relatively short history of 30 years, the port has the largest pier for shipping automobiles, handling 1,506 cars in 2014, up 4.1 percent from the previous year.

It serves as a processing and distribution base for automobiles and to provide a connection between remanufacturing and aftersales services.

“The port established a solid foothold as the mecca of automotive logistics and the optimum site for trade with China. Now it will work on developing new courses to the country’s main trading partners, including China and other Southeast Asian countries in a bid to increase cargo volumes,” the director said.

The port’s cargo volume has surpassed 100 million tons for three consecutive years, since 2012, while container volume increased 5.3 percent to 546,000 20-foot equivalent units on-year in 2014.

He said that Gyeonggi Pyeongtaek Port Corp. expects Pyeongtaek to be among the country’s top three ports by 2020.

“We will facilitate the growth by equipping a total of 79 berths as well as developing new industrial complexes in the area,” he said.

“As we see from other top port cities, the development of the city and the port have an inseparable relation. Hence, the port will put utmost efforts for regional economic development,” he added.

The state-funded company will help to promote investment in the hinterlands of Pyeongtaek Port, including attracting top global companies where large-scale factories of Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are under construction.

By Park Han-na (