Chapter 9

Port Commercialization and Privatization

9.1Background for Port Reform

In many cases, changes in port systems toward commercialization or privatization are undertaken to improve efficiency and productivity and to reduce the role of government in port activity and/or port ownership. Privatization is often understood as a transfer of government services to the private sector. At this high level of understanding, it is important to have a clear definition of “commercialization” and “privatization.” In line with the old, but still relevant UNCTAD paper “Guidelines for Port Authorities and Governments on Privatization of Port Facilities,” we take the following definition:82

Privatization is the transfer of ownership of assets from the public ...

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