The port industries and sea container traffic topped the agenda of a two-day trip begun Wednesday by Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg, to Saint Petersburg. The port of Saint Petersburg handles around 95 per cent of goods shipped from Hamburg to Russia. The mayor’s visit marked the 60th anniversary of the Hamburg-St. Petersburg twinning. A workshop on “Digitalisation in Port Industries and Logistics” gave north German and Russian companies insight into the “smartPORT“ project. Their talks also centred on global developments in terminal automation and German-Russian collaborations.
SmartPort driving innovations
Scholz noted: “Hamburg began developing concepts and testing their everyday operation early. Since 2013, the Hamburg Port Authority has launched over 30 ‘smartPort’ projects many of which are now in operation. Today’s modern ports drive innovations throughout the city. They require good contacts to research institutes, innovative companies and the excellence of educational institutions.“ Hamburg’s role as Germany’s leading logistics centre was by no means coincidental and the city is also the first to develop a strategy for introducing intelligent transport systems, he added.
Freedom of the press and of expression crucial for democracy
Scholz highlighted the importance of the freedom of the press and expression during a discusssion with journalism students at colleges in St. Petersburg and media students from Hamburg University for Applied Sciences (HAW). Digitalisation is important for everyday work and journalism is significant for a democratic society, he stressed.
“German Week” in Saint Petersburg
Scholz and Carola Veit, President of the Hamburg Parliament, opened Wednesday the “German Week” which is being held from April 5-12, 2017 under the motto “Gates to the World” in Saint Petersburg. To mark the 60th annivesary of the partnership between the two cities, Hamburg is partner to this year’s event. “The ‘German Week’ reveals the many existing friendly relations between our two cites despite all the differences,” said Scholz. He looked forward to an interesting programme focusing on “digitalisation and sustainability that brings science and commerce together and presents outstanding artists.”