Partnerships in port development

Research on partnerships for port development in emerging and transitioning countries. An exploration of sustainable port cluster development.

In relation to infrastructure, emerging and transitioning countries have witnessed an increasing interest from foreign investors, multinationals seeking access to raw materials captured in the hinterland, which quite often leads to multi-million dollar investment projects. However, in relation to investing in human capital, for the improvement of logistics performance and more sophisticated logistics solutions knowledge and competencies, investments are lacking behind.

In relation to infrastructure, these countries have witnessed an increasing interest from foreign investors, multinationals seeking access to the raw materials captured in the hinterland, which quite often leads to multimillion dollar investment projects. However, in relation to investing in human capital, for the improvement of knowledge and competencies, investments are lacking behind. As a result of that, the extended physical capacity is not utilised to the full potential as problems relating to optimising logistics processes within and between companies in the chain are unsolved. The negative effects are borne by local communities who suffer from the negative effects and moreover do not see the positive contributions that port and transport expansion projects have on their society.

This project between strategies of multinationals and host economies is largely researched as the passive macro-economic link between foreign direct investment and GDP growth. This research specifically seeks to address the active (purposeful) strategies and effects of multinational enterprises in their interaction with governments, NGOs and local stakeholders. This project takes a micro-level approach and uses the concept of ‘inclusive business’ and ‘inclusive growth’ which stands for ‘equitable development’ or ‘shared growth’. Special attention is given to cross-sector partnerships. The project aims to fine-tune a taxonomy of business models in which the direct and indirect consequences for inclusive growth are taken into account[1].

In relation to port public-private partnerships, there has not been much research done relating to the role of partnerships and how multinationals can create business models which both gives these enterprises a license to operate as well as a license to grow into the future, through their engagement in local partnerships and stakeholder networks.

As part of this research I will seek the involvement of Dutch and foreign organisations who are active in port development, both in relation to physical port and transport as well as in the knowledge infrastructure: port authorities, stevedoring companies and terminal operators, local governments, NGOs, shippers’ councils and knowledge- and research institutes.

 

[1] NWO/WOTRO research proposal, Van Tulder, R., Rotterdam School of Management, 2014

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