|Houston – The China Classification Society (CCS) recently opened a Houston office, its first branch in Texas because of the region’s robust economy, reputation as the world energy capital and leading foreign tonnage port in the U.S.|
The Greater Houston Partnership joined the Mayor’s Office last week during an opening ceremony welcoming CCS to the area.
“(CCS) choice to open an office in Houston is very timely, as industry trends indicate that the total volume of trade flowing through the Port of Houston will double due to the expansion of the Panama Canal and other factors,” said Mayor Annise Parker in a written welcome during the opening ceremony. “I expect that Houston shippers pursuing trade with China will benefit from the expertise and assistance CCS can provide directly through the local office.”
GHP, the primary business advocate for the 10-county Houston region, applauds the addition of CCS to the region as a means to impact maritime activities and expedite processes for ships traveling through the port.
“The presence of the China Classification Society in our region builds upon our reputation as a gateway to global markets,” said GHP President & CEO Jeff Moseley. “CCS will eliminate any service waiting period, which will increase seaborne traffic; reduce contamination; and positively impact ocean shipping and offshore related industries in the Houston region.”
China is Houston’s fifth largest trade partner overall. Last year, trade between Houston and China totaled more than $9 billion with import from China valued at $ 5.6 billion and export worth $3.5 billion, respectively. China is Houston’s fourth largest partner in total airborne trade with 11.7 million kilograms and sixth in total seaborne trade with a value of $ 8.5 billion.
Founded in 1956 as a non-profit body in the People’s Republic of China, CCS is the country’s only specialized organization to provide services for the shipping, shipbuilding, offshore exploitation and related manufacturing industries as well as to offer marine insurance to shipping companies. It performs classification, certification and notarial surveys of ships including offshore installations and containers and also conducts statutory work on behalf of the Chinese government and other flag administrations.
“CCS chose to locate an office in Houston because of the region’s strong and growing economy and because Houston is the capital of the world’s energy activities,” said Zhaojie Gao, CCS Vice President, who came from Beijing for the opening of the Houston office. “CCS will be able to grow with the Houston region and provide world-class service through the Port of Houston.”
As of 2010, CCS was authorized by the governments of 28 countries or regions to perform statutory surveys for the ships flying their flags and in the same year, serviced 2,485 ships totaling 42.72 million gross tonnage worldwide. The organization has established 58 branches both in China and around the world, forming a global service network.
The Greater Houston Partnership, through its more than 2,100 Members, represents the 10-county Houston region's business interests to promote the growth of high-paying jobs, international trade and capital investment. Earlier this month, leading trade publication Site Selection magazine named GHP as one of the “Top 10 Economic Development” organizations in the country.