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Port of Melbourne supports trade decarbonisation funding

The Port of Melbourne has welcomed multiple budget boosts regarding south-east Asia trade partnerships and the decarbonisation of port operations

The Port of Melbourne has commended the federal government’s latest 2024-25 budget announcements outlining funding to the port and its users to boost trade and regional decarbonisation.

As part of the budget, $505.9 million was provided to deepen Australia’s engagement with south-east Asia, which is of significance to the Port of Melbourne.

“With 28 per cent of our container exports destined for south-east Asia, the region constitutes Port of Melbourne’s largest export trade partner,” Port of Melbourne CEO Saul Cannon says.

“Trade with these nations underpins Victoria’s exports, particularly agriculture.

“The Port is supportive of the government’s commitment to funding areas crucial to the Port and its users, including infrastructure, shipping, transport, biosecurity and workforce.”

The Port of Melbourne has a robust trade relationship with numerous south-east Asian nations, being Vietnam’s third largest container export trade partner in 2023 and the largest importer of cotton and malt for the country in the year, as well as the second largest importer of wheat.

In Malaysia, the port was the nation’s fifth largest container export trade partner and the largest importer of rubber according to 2023 data.

The Port of Melbourne was Indonesia’s seventh largest container export trade partner in the past year and the largest importer of pulp and wastepaper in that same period, accounting for 45 per cent of all trade in that area in 2023.

In the Philippines, the Port was the ninth largest container export trade partner and the largest lead importer in 2023, while it was also Thailand’s second largest motor vehicle trade partner in 2023.

Cannon says the Port will continue growing relations in the region after being the sole Australian port to participate in the Australian Trade and Investment Commission’s (Austrade) inaugural Australia South-East Asia Business Exchange.

“Port of Melbourne is furthering regional decarbonisation, digitisation and trade relationships,” Cannon says.

“We continue to support the south-east Asia strategy and the opportunities it affords our local exporters and businesses.”

In terms of sustainability, Cannon says the Port is particularly supportive of the budget allocated to decarbonisation.

“The decarbonisation of the freight and maritime sector continues to be a key priority for the Port,” he says.

Port of Melbourne is progressing a feasibility study on green methanol bunkering and working to establish Green Shipping Corridors with key trade partners, paving the way for regional decarbonisation.

The Port also completed an inaugural $475 million, six-year Sustainability Linked Loan, which included targets to reduce emissions.

“Port of Melbourne is deeply committed to supporting the federal government in positioning Australia as a key trading partner and a leader in decarbonisation, enabled by these commendable 2024-25 Budget allocations,” Cannon says.

As Australia’s largest general cargo and container port, the Port of Melbourne is a critical domestic and international trade gateway for south-eastern Australia and a supporter of regional exporters.

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