China-Malaysia Port Alliance, which was established in 2015 to facilitate connectivity under the Belt and Road Initiative, accepted five new members on Monday as both countries aim for bigger trade volume.
Port authorities from China's Qingdao and Tianjin as well as from Malaysia's Kemaman, Sabah and Kuching were added to the 16-member organization, bringing the total number of members to 21.
Liu Peng, a senior official with China's transport ministry, said the alliance has become a platform for ports from both countries to share information and learn from each other.
He cited the new shipping routes between the two countries, higher throughout capacity and higher investments in each other's ports such as China's investment in Melaka Gateway and Kuantan Port and Malaysia's investment in Weifang Port.
The formation of the port alliance between six Malaysian ports and 10 Chinese ports was intended to pave the way for cooperation in various disciplines including port studies, training and apprenticeship, technical assistance, exchange of information, traffic development and promotion of trade services between ports, said Malaysia's Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai when launching the annual meeting.
The port alliance can become "an avenue for both countries and our ports to learn and share best practices and knowledge which will enhance operational efficiency and reduce the cost of doing business," said Liow.