Antwerp Port's Canadian Partner, Port of Montreal inks cooperative agreement with Mundra Port
MUMBAI: The Port of Antwerp hosted a Trade Get together at the Trident Hotel in Mumbai on 12th February 2018 in honour of the visit of its Canadian partner –Port of Montreal. The Port of Montreal delegation was on a trade mission to India ahead of the Visit of Honourable Prime Minister of Canada Mr. Justine Trudeau to India.
Mr. Luc Arnouts, Director of International Relations - Antwerp Port Authority, who was the master of the evening, welcomed Ms. Christine St-Pierre, the Quebec Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie; Mr. Tony Boemi, Vice-President, Growth and Development, Montreal Port Authority; Mr. Jordan Reeves, Consul General of Canada, Mumbai; Mr. Dominic Marcotte, Consul and Director of the Quebec Government Office in Mumbai; Mr. Peter HUYGHEBAERT, Consul General of Belgium, Mumbai; Mr. Walter Van Mechelen, Chairman – Alfaport, Capt. Sandeep Mehta, President of Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone, representatives of shipping lines providing services to Montreal, shippers, freight forwarders and representatives of the Association of Multimodal Transport Operators of India (AMTOI) and the Antwerp delegations, which were doing road shows in different cities in India to promote trade between India and Antwerp.
In his address, he outlined some of the major highlights of Antwerp Port's performance during 2017.
The Port of Antwerp achieved a record freight volume for the fifth straight year in a row, he pointed. In 2017 the port handled 223,606,610 tonnes of freight, an increase of 4.4% compared with the previous year. Practically all sectors turned in an excellent performance: the container volume expanded in tonnage by 4.3% (123 million tonnes), liquid bulk such as oil derivatives by 5.7% (73.1 million tonnes), and conventional breakbulk such as steel by 4.8% (10.3 million tonnes), while ro/ro completed the growth list with 10.5% (5.1 million tonnes). He further added, the trade between India and Antwerp increased by 35 % in the last three years. Speaking about the partnership between Port of Antwerp and Port of Montreal that was inked in the year 2013, he said, both the partners are committed on further enhancing this bilateral ties commercially not only between Canada and Belgium but also geographically that includes fast growing markets like India.
Mr. Tony Boemi, Vice-President, Growth and Development at the Montreal Port Authority said, “Asia, and especially India, is an emerging market with enormous potential. India and the Port of Montreal are already solidly connected thanks to container services. This Cooperative Agreement with Mundra Port strengthens our presence in India and showcases the Port of Montreal's advantages as a strategic gateway of choice for goods destined for the North American market.” He also outlined the various advantages of Port of Montreal to the Indian trade and added that the trade between India and the Port of Montreal is growing. From 2016 to 2017, the volume of goods to and from India rose by 40%. Freight transport is provided by the international container shipping giants Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, CMA CGM, OOCL and MSC, all longstanding partners of the Port of Montreal. A large part of this traffic transits through Mediterranean transshipment ports, mostly in Spain, Italy and Portugal.
Ms. Christine St-Pierre, Quebec Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie commented : “The Port of Montreal is a leading economic driver for Quebec prosperity. Under the Maritime Strategy, we have everything to gain from supporting its international outreach projects and I look forward to signing the Cooperative Agreement with the Port of Mundra, India's largest commercial port. Quebec, through the logistics chain of its metropolis, is expanding its presence in this already huge Asian market with such strong growth potential. For more than ten years, the Quebec Government Office in Mumbai has been supporting Quebec companies and institutions in the Indian market.”
Mr. Jordan Reeves, Consul General of Canada, Mumbai commented : “The Government of Canada fully supports the Port of Montreal's efforts as it solidifies its position as the leading container port on Canada's East Coast and strengthens its trade relations with the Indian market, which is emerging and increasingly significant.”
Mr. Peter HUYGHEBAERT, Consul General of Belgium, Mumbai said that when I came to India almost 3 years ago, the trade between India and Antwerp Port was around 5 million tonnes, which has now grown to almost 7 million tonnes. He also pointed that it was a prudent decision of the Antwerp Port Authority taken ten years ago to appoint an Indian representative sensing great business potential between India and Antwerp. Further, he lauded the outstanding performance of Mr. Raj Khalid, who is slated to hand over the reins to newly appointed Indian representative Ms. Malini Dutt later this year. He also spoke about the different port led developmental projects like Sagarmala and others that offer great business opportunities for global companies to do business in India. He also lauded the Antwerp Port Authority and Antwerp Business delegation for hosting the road shows in the cities of Mumbai, Chennai, Pune and New Delhi to further increase the bilateral relation between India and Belgium.
Keeping in line with its tradition of felicitating key trade personality from the Indian Maritime and Logistics industry each year in its Annual Trade Reception, the Port of Antwerp this year felicitated Mr. Christopher Phillips & Ms. Hetal Phillips of Seatech Shipping & Projects (I) Pvt Ltd. in recognition of completing 10 years of its operations.
The event concluded with a networking dinner.