The Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, launched an Economic Plan for the East of England today during a visit to the Port of Felixstowe.
Whilst at the port he saw the ultra-large container ship, CSCL Saturn, being worked at the port’s Berths 8 & 9. He also viewed the extension being built to these berths which will allow the UK’s largest container port to handle even more of the latest mega-ships operating on the world’s major trade routes.
The Prime Minister welcomed the Port of Felixstowe’s significant investment in its world-class facilities, including future plans for a new £200m Berth (Berth 10), and the additional jobs created.
During his speech at the port, the Prime Minister said:
“The extraordinary scale of the trade you are pioneering is not just fundamental to success in this region it’s fundamental to the success of the whole country. And with your exports to the fast-growing Asian markets up by two-fifths in the last five years alone that is exactly what you are helping to do.
“Put simply, you are increasing Britain’s footprint in the world. Your success is one part of an exciting story of economic recovery that is beginning to take place right across the East of England.”
Commenting on the visit, Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Felixstowe, said:
“We are honoured that the Prime Minister has chosen the Port of Felixstowe to make this important economic announcement for the East of England. We were able to show the Prime Minister how the continued investments we are making at Felixstowe are helping support UK economic growth and create more jobs.
“The developments at Berths 8&9 ensure the UK has a world class facility to handle the world’s largest vessels. These mega ships provide UK exporters with the most efficient connections to key overseas markets and are central to delivering an export-led economic recovery.”
The East of England has seen the fastest growth in employment of any English region outside London since the last election and the Prime Minister highlighted what has been delivered and what is underway as part of ongoing work to build a more resilient economy. He also talked about what more can be done to secure a brighter future for hardworking people across the region. The plan aims to create 250,000 new jobs by 2020 and will take forward £4.2 billion of investment into transport infrastructure.
Felixstowe is the UK’s largest container port. In 2014 it became the first UK port to handle over 4 million TEUs in a single year.