Israel has bolstered its placement as a regional trade hub by inaugurating a new shipping port in the Mediterranean city of Haifa.
By Erin Viner
The ₪ 5.5 billion shequel ($1.7 billion) Bay Port will be operated by Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG). The development is expected accelerate trade and competition by enabling larger classes of cargo ships loaded with 18,000 containers or more to dock in Israel.
In a bid to lower overhead cost and wait times for vessels to unload, Israel has been selling state-owned ports and constructing new, private docks.
An astonishing 99% of all commercial goods in Israel are delivered and transported over sea, and the upgrade is necessary to maintain and promote economic growth.
Haifa is well placed to become a regional hub in light of strengthening ties with neighboring Arab states, which have fostered new trade opportunities.
“I’m sure we can leverage this opportunity not just for local prosperity, but for realizing opportunities and making a real contribution to our neighbors in the Middle East,” said Israeli Minister of Transportation Merav Michaeli at an opening ceremony for the port.
Israel plans to open yet another new port on the Mediterranean coast in Ashdod by the end of 2021, which will be run by the Swiss-based Terminal Investment Limited shipping company.