Hong Kong-based BPS Global Group is a logistics infrastructure service provider that offers integrated engineering building services and automated logistics solutions to its customers across Asia. Founded in 1992 and headquartered in Hong Kong, the company deals with projects including industrial and logistic parks, warehouse automation and equipment, logistic technology, construction and engineering, investment and real estates, and e-commerce platforms.
As China’s Belt and Road Initiative gathers momentum, BPS Global has recently completed a project with a business partner from a Belt and Road country. Whereas many collaborations between China and Belt and Road countries so far have involved Chinese firms establishing a presence on the Belt and Road, in a way that echoes China’s development strategy of “going global”, BPS Global’s partnership with Indonesia’s Salim Group is a typical case of “bringing in”, another state strategy which involves the inflow of foreign capital into China.
Indonesia’s biggest conglomerate, Salim has interests ranging from palm oil plantations to media companies. In late 2015, its Chinese mainland-based subsidiary Salim Wanye Shanghai Enterprise Group came up with a plan to build a harbour in Fujian Province specialising in importing food products from Southeast Asia. Positioned as an “international industrial food park”, the harbour is to be located on a site owned by Salim within the Yuanhong Investment Zone in Fuqing City of Fujian. The project involves an estimated investment of 6 billion renminbi.
Salim’s original idea was to use the harbour to import aqua products, frozen meat and fruits from Southeast Asia to the Chinese mainland. The perishable nature of the imports meant careful logistics planning was of paramount importance. Before setting the project in motion, Salim had to commission a logistics consultancy firm to study the feasibility of the plan and provide logistical solutions. With the help of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s Fujian office, which helped identify a number of candidate companies based in Hong Kong, Salim eventually decided to select BPS Global, which has affiliated companies in various mainland cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and also Singapore.
The role of BPS Global, which had previously handled similar projects including Humen Port and Nansha Port in Guangdong Province, involved carrying out a feasibility study and devising logistical plans. In practice, there were a variety of tasks, including designing the layout of the industrial park and working out a multi-phase development scheme for the project. The Hong Kong company also conducted a study on the feasibility of Salim’s idea of importing frozen food. One conclusion of the study, which featured a wealth of analysis and data, was that Xiamen, a port city in southern Fujian, has abundant supplies of frozen meat and fruits. BPS Global advised Salim against entering the fray and to focus on importing seafood instead, a suggestion that Salim eventually heeded. BPS Global then took reference from fish markets in Hong Kong and Tokyo and drew up detailed logistical plans, including how to keep the imported seafood fresh, what fish species should be frozen, what equipment should be used and meticulous transportation plans.
In the space of less than six months, BPS Global completed its task. The next step is for Salim to construct the harbour and related infrastructure, which should take one to two years to complete.
By applying advanced logistics concepts and technologies and by drawing on its wealth of industry experience to provide integrated logistics support, BPS Global has demonstrated how a Hong Kong logistics expert can help smooth the way for companies in Belt and Road countries to seize business opportunities in China. Through its involvement in the harbour project, the Hong Kong company has also played a part in helping the mainland attract investment from Belt and Road countries, effectively promoting the Belt and Road Initiative, which is designed to benefit all parties involved.