A plan is currently underway to turn seven of the state of Malacca in Malaysia’s ports into specialised hubs in a bid to boost the country’s economic development. The ports span over 73 kilometres and will also help to enhance Malacca’s waterway system, according to The Star Online.
A separate but related project involving the construction of a US$20 billion ‘Kra’ Canal through Thailand was recently proposed to allow ships to avoid sailing through the Malacca Strait, thereby cutting sailing time by up to 48 hours between Asia and Europe.
Datuk Lim Ban Hong, Chairman of the Malacca Transport and Project Rehabilitation Committee, said: “We have studied the advantages of specialising each port according to the sectors chosen under the master plan in line with our strives [sic] to spur the state's economic activities and relive the glory of Malacca Port [of the 15th century].”
The project aims to boost activities in sectors ranging from manufacturing to tourism. The Malacca Gateway Port will be used primarily for tourism, while the other six ports will be used for industrial purposes.
The proposed development will be of interest to China and its Maritime Silk Road initiative which aims to revive historic trading links in Asia and boost trade between Europe and the Middle East.