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The doubling of the capacity of the Suez Canal “creates a great deal of opportunities for the Mediterranean, including Naples, but the city’s nature tends towards tourism and I do not think millions of containers can transit through here”, the new head of the Central Tyrrhenian Port Network Authority Andrea Annunziata said.
“The (southern Italian) port that could act as a hub – through which millions of containers resulting from the doubling of the Suez Canal capacity could transit – is Gioia Tauro,” he added.
“We in Naples,” he said, “can implement the transshipment, seeking to combine this as best as possible with the tourist nature of the city. We will work on (creating) a welcoming environment for the many cruise ship passengers that will return after COVID-19, as well as on special economic zones (SEZ).
Cities like Naples and Salerno cannot take in so many more containers than they are already handling. I am thinking above all about the success that an SEZ could have, about the many businesses that might arrive at the Naples port, the containers that there will be for this economy. We must adapt to these prospects, and de-bureaucratization of procedures will accompany them. Some 4,000 SEZs have been very successful around the world and we hope this will be brought in soon.
On tourism, Annuziata, former head of eastern Sicily ports, underscored that Naples “offers history, architecture, and landscapes for tourists. The Campania region has many UNESCO /World Heritage) sites. We must work to offer better logistics, security, and respect for the environment for when cruise lines resume as best they can. Cruise ship passengers will soon have a transformed Piazza del Municipio with 300 meters of things to wonder at and archaeological finds along the way as they walk.”