NANNING, July 9 (Xinhua) -- The handling capacity of ports in south China's Beibu Gulf is expected to reach 200 million tonnes within this year and will rise to 357 million tonnes by the end of 2015, a government official said on Monday.
"The Guangxi Beibu Gulf Port will partner with internationally renowned ports and transportation enterprises to further its development and improve management," said Chen Ruixian, deputy director of the management committee of the Guangxi Beibu Gulf Economic Zone.
The Guangxi Beibu Gulf Port, composed of the Fangcheng, Qinzhou and Beihai ports, conjoins China's southern and southwestern economic rims with countries in the regional bloc of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It is considered an important outlet for cargo from China's hinterland to enter ASEAN countries.
Currently, the port cluster has more than 30 container shipment routes that link with over 200 ports in the world.
"The port is building itself into an international shipment hub and logistics center," said Ye Shixiang, board chairman of the Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group Ltd.
China and ASEAN countries have witnessed a trade boom in recent years, which brings a great opportunity for the future cooperation among ports in China and ASEAN countries, said Xu Ningning, executive deputy secretary-general of the China-ASEAN Business Council.
Trade volume between China and ASEAN countries rose 24 percent year on year to 362.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2011, according to Xu.
The comments came as China prepares to host the seventh Pan-Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation Forum on July 12-13 in Nanning, capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.