During the 16th China-ASEAN EXPO (CAEXPO) and the 16th China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) in Nanning, Guangxi, the Support of Regional Economic Cooperation in Asia (SRECA) project participated in the 2019 China-ASEAN Port Cities Cooperation Network Work Conference organised by the Chinese Secretariat of China-ASEAN Port Cities Cooperation Network and the Office of Planning, Development and Management of Beibu Gulf Economic Zone (BG Office), Guangxi, PR China. The conference took place on 22-23 September, 2019 was held back to back with a field trip to the Qinzhou Port Area as well as a symposium at the Beibu Gulf University in Qinzhou.

The conference brought together public and private actors from ASEAN and China Port Cities as well as academia and maritime trade experts to deepen port and port cities cooperation and hinterland connectivity in the region. The platform has become a consistent and effective mechanism for knowledge exchange between ASEAN and China regarding port cooperation. At the symposium, researchers and practitioners discussed, among other topics, how blockchain technology contributes to the regional port logistics and enhances the efficiency and transparency of digital port management and trade. Experts from Thailand shared approaches to improve land-sea connectivity in ASEAN as well as to facilitate trade routes to China.

GIZ SRECA supports the inclusion of ASEAN ports in the port city cooperation network since its inauguration in 2017. The network offers the chance for lesser developed ports in ASEAN countries to profit from regional knowledge exchange and capacity building. GIZ SRECA is currently planning with Beibu Gulf University and BG Office to follow-up the conference with a training on port management, port logistics and further issues for port officials from ASEAN.