В преддверии The Netherlands Bilateral Year 2013 – года России в Голландии и года Голландии в России в Петербурге и Москве с визитом побывала вице-мэр Роттердама Жаннетт Бальё. На приеме в генеральном консульстве Нидерландов в Петербурге она рассказала морскому business community о мероприятиях в портовом секторе в следующем году. На следующий день Ж.Бальё посмотрела Большой порт Санкт-Петербург с воды. Нам было интересно узнать ее мнение об увиденном, тем более что мэрия Роттердама владеет 70% акций порта, а в профайле Ж.Бальё значатся региональная экономика и порт. В интервью SeaNews Ж.Бальё поделилась своим видением перспектив сотрудничества между Роттердамом и Петербургом, рассказала о российских инвесторах в Роттердаме и о том, как те же самые вопросы, с которыми сталкивается Петербург, решают в Роттердаме. Впечатления Ж.Бальё от Большого порта и видео интервью ниже.
St. Pete port tour video interview
I am Jeannette Baljeu, Vice Mayor of Rotterdam, and I am here visiting the St. Petersburg port. I am especially interested in this port because it has the same mixture of products that we have in Rotterdam. The trade relations between Rotterdam and St. Petersburg are very important to the Rotterdam Port. Of course, we already have a long-term relationship between St. Petersburg and the city of Rotterdam and the Port of Rotterdam because a lot of trade coming from Russia is going to Rotterdam. And it is important for us and interesting to see all different products that make this port so strong and create the possibilities for the region to grow.
Vice Mayor of Rotterdam Jeannette Baljeu in St. Petersburg
As a Vice Mayor of Rotterdam I am really interested to see that the reefer container market is also growing here in St. Petersburg. In Rotterdam we are also creating more space for reefer containers as we see the trade in reefers is developing. So there are very good conditions to work together for Russian and Rotterdam companies. Containers are very important because the world trade in containers is still growing. In Rotterdam we have an expansion of the container port. And we are looking forward to trade more containers with Russia. But the energy port is also an important development for us, as all kinds of energy sources and fuels are handled in Rotterdam, and we have a lot of trading with Russia. And of course special projects and heavy lifting are also very welcome in the Rotterdam Port. And we see all this variety also here in St. Petersburg. So for us it is a good trading partner.
Investing in the port
There are port activities near the city, especially our reefers are also done nearby the city. But large ships move away from the city, the Bronka expansion here is more or less what we do – all cargo will be shifting and the port will expand more and more towards the sea away from the city. So within the city you don’t feel the traffic pressure of the port. But of course we have the responsibility that all the other traffic is still working. We are heavily investing in the multimodal, in the direct rail lines from container terminal to the hinterland, to Germany especially. And of course we have a lot of inland ships, so we are promoting the inland shipping industry as well. Such projects as Maasvlakte II and Transferium are also the reason why the port is more and more expanded outside.
Perception of the Big port of St. Petersburg
I did not realize there is such a mixture and diversity of products handled here. In Rotterdam we also have this diversity, and that makes sure that if one area of the economy is bit down, you keep your balance as the whole port as you still have the opportunity to grow. That is what you see in Rotterdam and it is also the case here in St. Petersburg. I have a good impression of the Big port of St. Petersburg. And we face the same issues. We have just talked about the infrastructure – the living area surrounds the port, it is in the heart of the city, and that raises the same questions from the public. Dredging is very important for us, too – so we are happy that we have real good experienced Dutch dredging companies.
Russian Dutch investment underway
We are happy that we have Summa investments in the port. This is going to be a real important development, all the preparations are going very well and we are looking forward to start the construction. Summa is a new investor, they won the tender. We also have other investors in the port, LUKoil is one of these important companies, and there are many more.
For the next year
I think it is important that the bilateral year will tighten the relationships between Rotterdam and St. Petersburg. We will have a port event in Rotterdam, when we have our port promotion days, and we will invite the Russian and St. Petersburg relations. We will come with a business mission with the Mayor probably at the end of the year 2013, this will be also to connect port companies together. For us it is essential that we keep this relationship because as I was saying you see the trade is growing here in St. Petersburg and we are growing in capacity in Rotterdam. So what we are looking for after the bilateral year, which I believe will be a success, is more visits and contacts. Maybe we can work out an annual meeting here is something we are looking to, and I hope we can work something out like that because it is important that there is a continuous relationship economy. And the national delegation of the Netherlands will also take part in the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. So it will be a really intensive year. Yes, keep in touch with the Dutch.