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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1476845061084{margin-top: -20px !important;}”]Eddy Bruyninckx, Chief Executive Officer, Port of Antwerp[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

India numbers among the top 10 business partners for the port of Antwerp with around 5 million tonnes of cargo moving between the destinations annually

Antwerp Port has been able to post record traffic growth during the first nine months this year. How has been the port able to attract more traffic?
We thank a huge part of this growth to the fact that MSC has decided to make the port of Antwerp their North-European hub port. Tell us about your growing trade with the Asian market. The traffic between Antwerp and Far East has grown significantly in 2015, in particular with China the maritime traffic has grown over 40 per cent. Containers and steel products are the main pillars of growth.

How is the bilateral trade between India and Antwerp?
On a yearly basis about 5 million tons of cargo are transported between Indian ports and Antwerp, most of the cargo via Mumbai Port, JNPT and Mundra. This makes India a top 10 partner country for us

Which are the major commodities being traded between Indian ports and Antwerp?
The largest trade between India and Antwerp consists of containers, followed by steel and liquid bulk.

What opportunities and advantages does the Port of Antwerp offer to the Indian trade?
We promote the port of Antwerp as THE gateway for Indian cargo in and out of Europe. Shippers can set up a cost-efficient supply chain, due to favourable inland location; excellent hinterland connections, a wide variety of regular connections, efficient and high skilled labour force, over 6 million m² of warehousing and many other trump cards.

Tell us about your particular interest in the One Belt, One Road strategy?
Collaboration between various Chinese port cities and Antwerp has expanded rapidly in the past few years. Antwerp is the market leader in five of the main six trading routes and acts as the European gateway for many overseas regions. Antwerp has an important role to play in developing a “New Silk Road” linking the Europe and the Middle East with the economic centres of China and other countries in South-East Asia and around the Indian Ocean.

Can you tell us about the China- EU-Africa-International Trade & Logistics Hub Center being developed at the Port of Antwerp. Which geographies and businesses stand to benefit from it?
The agreement, signed by the Antwerp Port Authority, the China Development Bank and Chengtong Holdings Group, has to be seen in the framework of the One Belt One Road strategy, where we the port of Antwerp presents itself as an attractive region to invest and a cooperation in which Antwerp is a hub for Chinese cargo to Africa.

You have been involved in the development of port of Baku in Azerbaijan and port of Duqm in Oman. How does this fit into your business strategy and how does the trade community stand to benefit from it?
Our cooperation with economic growth areas is of vital importance for the foreland strategy. Thanks to intensive cooperation and contacts of our subsidiary company Port of Antwerp International™ an international maritime network between Antwerp and rapidly growing regions can be developed.

In 2013, the Port of Antwerp was under cyber attack. Subsequently what safety measures has the port taken?
That year a task force was established which, together with the people from APCS (our Antwerp Port Community System), port companies and CERT (federal cyber emergency team), shares best practices and learn from each other’s policies. For example, MSC has launched a container release system for picking up containers in safe way.This technology is now available port wide. The main advantage of this application is that the crucial information needed to collect a container is not made up until the very last stage.

What are the key milestones achieved by the port this year?
Our largest milestone will be later this month when we reach 200 million tonnes cargo for the first time in our history. This year we see a strong growth in containers ( 9 million TEU), 8 per cent in total. This is the highest growth rate within the Hamburg-Le Havre range.

What are your plans/targets for 2016?
We will have some major events in the course of 2016: In April, we will open a new lock which will provide a second access to the Left Bank area. By the end of the year, we will move to the new port house, a magnificent piece of architecture, designed by Zaha Hadid.

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