Port governance in China since 2004: Institutional layering and the growing impact of broader policies

This paper builds further on the work of Cullinane and Wang (2007) and more recent work on (port) governance in China. We argue that the market environment in which Chinese ports operate is quite different compared to ten years ago. The global and domestic economic slowdown and structural changes in the economic base have affected seaport volumes and freight traffic growth. Fears for port capacity shortages have made room for overcapacity. New geo-economic policies such as the ‘Go West’ strategy and the ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR) initiative, the implementation of modern corporate governance principles and the establishment of Free Trade Zones (FTZs) are affecting the Chinese container seaport system. The above factors have triggered a number of strategic and managerial implications on Chinese ports: (a) an increased focus on seaport integration and co-operation, (b) a strong orientation on hinterland development through corridors and dry ports, (c) a two-way opening up of the seaport sector by combining initiatives to attract foreign investments and trade to Chinese ports with an internationalisation of Chinese port-related companies. We demonstrate that these changes have triggered processes of institutional layering in port governance without breaking out of the development path initiated by the Port Law of 2004 and related policy initiatives.


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  • Accession Number: 01635873
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 25 2017 2:03PM