In a bid to seize the opportunity for rising Chinese demand for imported food and travel overseas, China’s Landbridge group has bought a long-term lease in the Port of Darwin in Australia’s north territory for US$370 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Mike Hughes, Director of Landbridge Infrastructure, said: “Through our significant investment in the Port of Darwin, Landbridge intends to grow two-way trade between Australia and Asia, leveraging Landbridge’s existing port and logistics businesses and firmly putting Darwin on the map for Chinese business.
“In addition to committing an initial $25.5 million of new growth investment expenditure over the first five years, we anticipate in excess of $146 million of capital expenditure over the next 25 years. Given the scope of development opportunities in the Territory, we hope to invest a lot more.”
Adam Giles, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, said: “In Landbridge, we have a partner that has demonstrated an outstanding track record of investment and innovation that has underpinned remarkable growth, and with it new trade and jobs.
“We are confident that Landbridge will bring a similar approach to the Port of Darwin, and bring the Territory the benefits of their position, networks and experience in Asia.”
China has also stepped up its investments in Africa recently after announcing that it will be targeting Kenya’s ports of Mombasa and Lamu, with acquisition being made to support its ‘One Belt, One Road’ plan.