International Trade

SIPG: the 800 lb gorilla takes on World Cup

World Cup, as you know is the premier event in world soccer, oh sorry, football!   Nations vie for the prestige of hosting this gala event and the acclaim, which comes with that honor.  FIFA chooses the Middle East There were five nations bidding on the 2022 games: Australia, Japan,  Qatar, South Korea and the United States. After a hotly contested selection process, fraught with allegations of corruption and money laundering, the FIFA committee chose the nation of Qatar to hold the event. Qatar will be the first Muslim nation to host the World Cup and the Cup’s first venue in the Middle East. The date of the games, scheduled for late November, will also mark the first time the event was not played in June or July.  Thirty-two national teams including the host country will compete for the Cup with the final game to be played on Qatar National Day, December 18, 2022.     Shanghai FC up for the Challenge The Shanghai Port Group Football Club was founded in December of 2005  under the direction of Chinese international coach Xu Genbao.  Forbes ranks it as the 3rd most powerful team in China and a sure bet that many of its players will make up the roster of the 2022 games.  It’s obvious that the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) has a large stake in making the event a successful and memorable occasion. China and the SIPG get behind the games Qatar plans to build nine new stadiums and renovate three existing  facilities spreading the games among 12 venues at seven host cities.  Chinese engineering and construction firms like Nanjing based SUMEC Group and the Xuzhou Construction Machine Group have been contracted to provide earth moving equipment and material for the project.  Other manufacturers in China will bid on everything from seats to souvenirs. The undertaking will be massive and China stands to gain a needed uptick in its export market.  The Shanghai International Port Group and more specifically Yangshan Port are up for the challenge. Shanghai Signs an MOU with Qatar Port Group President Yan Jun said with Chinese firms so committed to  exports for the World Cup, the SIPG could help Qatar build a multimodal supply platform in China to ensure that goods and material are efficiently shipped. In July Qatar signed a Cooperative Framework Agreement with Shanghai Port to develop such a platform.  Under the agreement, a trade center in Qatar would also be maintained not only to coordinate the distribution of cargo for the World Cup but also to serve as a resource for the countries’ other building projects. The massive 600 acre Yangshan Port would become the primary center for World Cup activity in China going forward.  The land area on the newly created Yangshan Island is only about half developed.  A fully functional six-lane highway connects the port and backland to the mainland. Cargo facilities for marshaling building and construction equipment and  warehouses to consolidate loose freight could be added to the existing infrastructure. As reported by the China Daily News 7-26-2016, Yan Jun said, “Cooperation between SIPG and Qatari partners will be lucrative and all parties involved will benefit.” The 2022 World Cup breathes new life into  Yangshan Port Football stadiums in the cities of Al-Daayen, Al-Khor, Al-Rayyan, Al-Shamal,  Al-Wakrah, Doha and Umm Slal will need to be  built or renovated.  The Port of Yangshan with its massive land area and modern infrastructure is the perfect location for the Qatar supply center as outlined in the Cooperative Agreement.  The slump in China’s exports was mirrored in SIPG’s cargo volume over the last couple of years. Could this be the shot in the arm Yangshan Port needs?   
Matt Guasco
Matt Guasco


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