On Wednesday 12 January, Pilar Miranda, president of the Port Authority of Huelva (APH), appeared at a press conference in front of the media to give the closing balance of the year 2021 and to announce some of the most relevant projects to be launched in 2022.
Among the different news that Miranda gave, he highlighted the announcement of a new regular ro-ro line for the first quarter of 2022, so it is expected that the new connection will start operating before April of this year. With this measure, the port authority intends to speed up the transit of goods circulating between Spain, the European Union and Morocco, goods that have reached volumes that are too large for the existing lines.
The ro-ro lines are those dedicated to maritime transport for trucks and wheeled vehicles. A similar extra line will also operate to the UK before the summer, according to the same announcement by the APH chairwoman.
"All these projects have the objective of converting the port of Huelva into a multimodal reference point in the European South Atlantic. We can. Huelva can. We have a great port and a great city. We have many possibilities", Miranda pointed out during his intervention in front of the media. "It is very important, because soon a lot of material and many more products will be leaving Huelva, our agri-food products, to these foreign destinations. It is a time when lorries are having a lot of problems and that is why it is necessary," he added.
The port authority team also took the opportunity to give some figures for its 2021 financial year, which was 2.31% higher than the previous year. The figure represents a total of 43.7 million euros in this period. The busiest passenger line continues to be the Canary Islands, which has seen its volume increase by 20%. Pilar Miranda expressed her satisfaction at having overcome the negative effects of the pandemic on the industry and activity of the port.
It is good to remember that, according to the data made public by the Export and Foreign Investment agency of the Andalusian Regional Government, EXTENDA, dependent on the Ministry of the Presidency, Public Administration and Interior, Andalusia has increased its exports to Africa by 23.1% during 2021. The top destination for Andalusian exports to Africa is neighbouring Morocco, which is also the second best non-European partner in terms of trade volume, only surpassed by the United States.
Morocco accounts for 4.8% of Andalusia's exports, representing 1.33 billion euros in 2021. Compared to 2020, it had an impressive growth of 33%, making it the seventh largest partner in terms of exports, counting European countries.
These data confirm, as was presented at the conference organised at the Three Cultures Foundation last December, "Andalusia and Morocco, a model of European neighbourhood", that relations between the autonomous community and the Alawi kingdom have not suffered in the economic sector, and that the ties between civil and business society have solid roots that resist the cyclical onslaughts that can occur in the diplomatic and political spheres. Morocco continues to be, not only for Andalusia, but also for Spain, a key partner, and even improves its scores compared to previous years.