French shipping giant CMA CGM keen to strengthen presence in Malaysia


MARSEILLE: Malaysia’s liberalisation of 27 local services sub-sectors, including the transport sub-sector, prompted French shipping giant, CMA CGM to mull over plans to strengthen its foothold in the country.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat had during a visit to the headquarters of the world’s third largest container shipping company in the French city last Thursday shared the Malaysian Government’s policy to liberalise the transport sub-sector, including the opening of 30% restriction in foreign ownership.

CMA CGM has had a presence in Port Klang since 1994 and is one of the largest customers of Port Klang. It has since June 1 also served the port of Tanjung Pelepas.

In welcoming the move, the company’s president Jacques R. Saade said “such liberalisation will change the strategy (of the company) in Asia.”

The shipping giant also welcomed Ong’s announcement of gradual liberalisation of cabotage of key sectors such as from Peninsular Malaysia to three major ports in east Malaysia, namely Sepangar, Kuching and Bintulu. (See also page 7)

Saade said the company would seriously explore the opportunities available from such a move. He also said the company would expand its dry port bonded warehouses, which include the Port Klang Free Zone.

Later, Ong visited the Port of Marseille, one of the oldest and busiest sea ports in France.

Marseille Port also raised its interest to establish an in-house university specialising in shipping and maritime as part of its education and training project.

Ong took the opportunity to test-drive its state-of-the-art port simulator.

By SHARIDAN M. ALI

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