The 4th China International Logistics Development Conference (Oct 31st, 2017 – Nov 2nd, 2017)
The Conference was sponsored by three parties: the China Communications and Logistics Commission, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transportation International (CILT) and the City of Xuzhou. Each sponsor is essential to contribute leadership, knowledge, global connection and funding to the conference. The conference was a grand success in promoting the national agenda of One Belt One Road (OBOL) Initiative, the logistics infrastructure in the city of Xuzhou and the CILT’s growing influence in the Chinese logistics sector. Two delegates represented CILT North America in the conference, they are Alix Li of Port Metro Vancouver and Jackie Li of BCIT.
The hosting city Xuzhou, with a population of 10 million strong, locates in the west of Yangtzi River Delta Economics Zone (YRDEZ) which responsible of 20% of China’s Gross Domestics Product. It is a historic city with immense culture and heavy industry presence. Transporting goods and labour between the economically developing China’s western regions and the wealthy and developed China’s eastern regions, the city of Xuzhou will serve as the super node in the mega project of “One Belt One Road Initiative”.
Photo above: Canadian delegates Alix Li and Jackie Li.
The Conference took place from Oct 31st to Nov 2nd. Here are the events and activities scheduled in the conference:
Oct 31st PM: Welcome dinner and exchange meeting
Nov 1st AM: Opening Ceremony, project signing and initiation, main forum
PM: “The Belt and Road” common market construction
PM: Modern Logistics Integration Development Summit Forum
PM: “Mulan Club” (Women in Logistics) forum
PM: Summit forum for construction of business logistics center in Huai-hai economic zone
PM: International multimodal transport development conference
Nov 2nd AM: International port economic and trade logistics cooperation conference
AM: Visit to key logistics infrastructures
All day: Special events for 2017 China’s cold chain logistics development forum
The conference ran multiple events simultaneously in various venues, which provided alternatives to address attendees’ different interest points; however, each event competed for the same audience and it is unlikely for someone to attend two or more events in the AM/PM timespan due to the long distance between venues.
On Nov 1st, the opening ceremony was held at the New Century Hotel Kaiyuan Conference Hall where all attendees came for a series of speeches and networking. The opening ceremony was packed with keynote speakers and project signings. The list of keynote speakers includes provincial governor, mayor, rank-and-file officials from central authority, CILT Chairman and secretary general, foreign dignitaries, scholars and senior executives from S&P500 Chinese conglomerates. About 500 attendees from more than 30 countries around the world enjoyed the opening ceremony.
Here are the list of speakers and activities:
(I) Opening ceremony speech by
1. Zhang Guohua, the secretary of municipal Committee, addresses the meeting;
2. Wang Derong, the executive vice chairman of China Communications and Transportation Association, addresses the meeting;
3. Kevin Byrne, the chairman of the CILT International, addresses the meeting;
4. Ma Qiulin, the vice provincial governor of Jiangsu, addresses the meeting;
5. Wu Junyang, the deputy inspector of the National Development and Reform Commission Economic and Trade Department, addresses the meeting;
6. David Aptsiauri, the Georgia ambassador to China, addresses the meeting;
7. Zang Jianjun, the executive director of CEFC China Energy Co., Ltd., addresses the meeting;
8. Ceremonies of opening, starting, award and nameplate-unveiling
(II) Project Signing Ceremony
After a series of keynote speakers, it commenced the projects signing ceremony. During the proceeding of this event, twenty-three logistics projects, valued at ¥127.8 billion RMB or USD$19.3 billion, were signed and initiated.
(III) Main forum
1. Mayor Zhou Tiegen address the guests with a key note speech about Xuzhou’s advantageous location;
2. Zhu Hongren, the executive vice chairman and director general of China Enterprise Confederation/China Entrepreneur Association, former Party member of Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and chief engineer;
3. Keith Newton, the secretary general of CILT International;
4. Liu Yi, the deputy inspector of the Middle and Small-sized Enterprise Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology;
5. Huang Youfang, the president of Shanghai Maritime University, and director of Teaching Instruction Committee for Logistics Major in the Universities of Ministry of Education;
6. Chung Dong-young, Member of Korea Parliament and Korea Land Transportation Committee;
7. Lv Changqing, the former deputy director general of the Railways Ministry Transport Bureau;
8. Jiang Dawei, the general manager of Xugong Zhilian Logistic Service Co., Ltd., conducts road show of new business model of logistics.
The key take-away from the Chinese officials’ speeches are as following:
The CILT President Kevin Byrne open his speech with Gaelic greeting to all guests. Followed by Kevin’s biography and personal stories from his service in air force, industry and his current teaching appointment at various universities. Kevin highlighted the new member countries joining CILT and the joint development of China and CILT International in other member countries.
The Mayor of Xuzhou, Mr. Zhou Tiegen gave an unscripted speech to further explain the unique geographic location which makes Xuzhou to be the natural super node in the OBOL initiative. As explained in the following chart, Xuzhou connects four major economic and industrial areas in China. The OBOL initiative will allow Xuzhou to connect directly to the rest of world by river, high-speed rail and air transport.
In the afternoon, attendees broke out to different interest groups and participated in different venues. Jackie was invited to the “Mulan Club” (Women In Logistics) Forum. The Forum was hosted by the Mulan Club Hong Kong Chairwoman Vicky Koo. It open with Chinese traditional dance: Han Feng Drum Dance. It followed with opening speech by Xuzhou Vice Mayor Mrs. Li Yan.
The Inspector of Ministry of Industry and Information Technology for middle and small enterprises Mrs. Liu Yi gave a speech about the current development status of medium and small enterprises in China and the role of female in those enterprises.
The WILAT global advisor Mrs. Dorothy Chan provided the development history of international Mulan Club.
The Chairwoman of Mulan Club China address the guests and announced the Unveiling ceremony in provincial and municipal working stations of Mulan Club China.
The venue proceeded with the award ceremony of “Stars of Mulan” to showcase the achievement by women in logistics. The award ceremony of “Friends of Mulan” showcase the men behind the high achievers of women in logistics.
The venue proceeded with an on-stage forum to discuss the strength and dream of women. This dialogue was chaired by Mrs. Liu Yi, Mrs. Dorothy Chan, Mrs. Vicky Koo, Mrs. Shi Qihong and Mrs. Ren Xia. They discussed various topics about women’s role and challenges in logistics, career and family.
In Day Three, Alix and Jackie were delegated to different events which ran parallel. Alix attended the International Port Economics and Trade Logistics Cooperation Conference. Jackie attended the Visit to key logistics infrastructures.
A tour to two key infrastructures was provided to foreign attendees.
The first stop was the Shun Di River bulk commodity port. This port is a river port that capable of handling and storage up to 100 million tons of bulk commodity such as coal, gravels, steels and pulps. The port has a fence-up open-quay yard equipped with mobile conveyer belt system for coal, gravels and pulps movement. The twenty-meter height fence has an aerodynamic design to reduce wind speed significantly to prevent dust or particle being blown up or leaving the yard.
The second stop was the Wanzhai Port. This port, located on a river canal, is an integrated inland river port with customs and bonded logistics park for export. One of two Xuzhou major conglomerates is Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group (XCMG). XCMG manufactures heavy machineries locally and export globally via one of bonded river ports like Wanzhai and connect to nearby seaports such as Lianyun Port in Dalian and Yangshan Port in Shanghai. Although the port is still under major expansion development, the port is partially operational with gated yard for import and export. By completion, the port will be an integrated logistics park operate railway, river transport, highway, customs, warehouse and business center.
The visit concluded at noon and it also concluded the two-day conference.
This conference provided excellent information about the hosting city of Xuzhou and presented enormous growing opportunity in the Chinese logistics industry. China has experienced rapid economic growth and development in the past three decades. The speed of development in wealth and infrastructure is truly unprecedented. With the current political might pushing for the OBOL initiative, the Chinese logistics infrastructure and network will undoubtedly see influx of funding and favorable policy to feed to the government’s global ambition.