At the beginning of 2015, Asia Symbol (Shandong) Pulp and Paper Co., Ltd. concluded a favorable memorandum agreement with the border authority that oversees the Chinese port city of Rizhao. This Memorandum of Port Self-Management is designed to comply with entry and exit regulations and to speed up immigration clearance for the company’s cargo vessels importing wood chips.
The memorandum calls for the formation of a collaborative working group run jointly by Asia Symbol and the Rizhao authorities. This group will oversee routine day-to-day operations, and is designed to ensure that the company’s ships proceed through the port’s immigration and security checkpoints quickly and efficiently.
The agreement emphasizes the leadership of the border authority, as well as the company’s self-management of its fleet. In cooperation with the Rizhao authorities, Asia Symbol will co-administer port operations that affect its vessels. Specific benefits for the company, as outlined in the memorandum, include designated berths at the port for the company’s vessels carrying wood chips. In addition, Asia Symbol will enjoy designated cargo types, as well as specified routes for its shipping vessels, electronic and biometric security controls for accessing relevant systems, and an enclosed embankment area.
In fulfilling its duties, Rizhao’s border authority follows the protocols of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, which was established to increase the security of global commerce in the days following the 2001 terror attacks in the United States.
Asia Symbol is one of the natural resources manufacturing companies within the RGE Group, the $15 billion conglomerate headed by CEO and founder Sukanto Tanoto of Indonesia. RGE companies maintain production facilities in Indonesia, China, and Brazil, and employ a global workforce of some 50,000 people. The company’s Rizhao facility represents the world’s biggest single pulp production line, and one whose technological standards exceed those commonly in operation throughout China. In addition to the increased economic prosperity it has brought to Rizhao and surrounding areas, Asia Symbol has focused on corporate social responsibility by supporting local educational and social service programs.