The newly constructed building of JNPT Antwerp Port Training & Consultancy Foundation got inaugurated on 6th Feb in the august presence of Mr. Alexander De Croo, Hon’ble Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, Shri Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, IPA, Shri Ravindra Agrawal, Joint Secretary (Sagarmala), Ministry of Shipping, Shri Neeraj Bansal, Chairman In-charge, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Mr Jan Luykx, Ambassador of Belgium to India, Mr Peter Huyghebaert, Consul General of Belgium to India, Mr. Marc Van Peel, President of Port of Antwerp, Mr Kristof Waterschoot, Managing Director APEC & PAI, JNPT Trustees and other dignitaries.
This centre is the result of path breaking initiative of Hon’ble Shipping Minister, who invited APEC Antwerp/Flanders Training Centre, a renowned Centre of the Port of Antwerp to set up a similar world class training facility in India for training of port executives from India and neighbouring countries. Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust was chosen to partner this initiative. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two institutions on 12th February 2015. To formalize the MoU signed in February 2015, a ‘Not for Profit’ company with name, JNPT ANTWERP PORT TRAINING AND CONSULTANCY FOUNDATION was incorporated on 9th February 2016, with paid-up capital being contributed equally by JNPT and APEC.
The Centre has been functioning since February 2015. So far 8 seminars / training programs have been held. The programs are conducted by experts from Antwerp and include classroom sessions, interactive workshops and exercises providing theoretical knowledge and building practical skills. Apart from the key aspects of port operations, underlying focus has been to enhance and develop skills for Business Development Strategies and Marketing and also to instill behavioural changes to lead effectively in the fast-changing business environment.
The Training Centre, meeting international standards, has been developed at JN Port near the port headquarters at Sheva. This includes classrooms with state of art facilities and teaching aids, committee rooms, offices and library. The residential facilities close to the Training Centre premises at Sheva, is also being upgraded as ‘Hostel’ to accommodate participants and faculty.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Neeraj Bansal, Chairman in-charge, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust observed that the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium with the Ambassador and Consul General of Belgium to India and Heads of Port of Antwerp and APEC reflects the importance the Government of Belgium is giving to the bilateral relations with India and thanked them for working closely with JNPT to realise the dream of Hon’ble Minister of Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari to establish in India a world-class training facility for port managers.
Shri Sanjay Bhatia, Chairman, Indian Ports Association, stated that the Indian maritime sector is witnessing revolutionary changes with various initiatives including creation of port-based development clusters and smart port cities. He expressed the hope that the expertise of Antwerp Port could benefit Indian Ports to transform themselves as landlord ports as well as create requisite eco-system to spur investment and employment.
Shri Rabindra Agarwal, Jt. Secretary (Sagarmala) apprised that the Belgian entrepreneurs will have plenty of opportunities to participate in the various Sagarmala projects in the field of green port development, inland waterways, etc. He also wished that in order to lower the cost of training, without compromising the high quality standards being followed by APEC, a ‘training for trainers’ program be held for Indian Port professionals.
Mr. Marc Van Peel, President, Port of Antwerp, complimented the JNPT Chairman and his team for establishing the training facilities of high standard at Sheva within such a short time-frame. He added that the Port of Antwerp is willing and prepared to widen its engagement with JNPT and India.
The Hon’ble Deputy Prime Minister of Belgium, Mr. Alexander De Croo was appreciative that the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the JNPT and APEC, at the initiative of Indian Minister of Shipping, was operationalized in record time. He added that the knowledge-base and experience of Antwerp, together with the India’s excellence in IT and related fields, could be put to effective use to rejuvenate the Indian Ports and industry. He expressed the hope that the JNPT ANTWERP PORT TRAINING CENTRE would act as a catalyst in taking the bilateral relations between India and Belgium to greater heights.
To coincide with the formal opening of the training facilities, a program on ‘Change Management and Effective Leadership’ for Port Officers is being conducted from 6th February 2017.