The Belgian Deputy Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, argued today (Monday) for strengthened cooperation between the ports of Antwerp and Mumbai (in the north-west of India). The Minister of Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda, Telecom and Postal Services broached this subject today (Monday) during a working visit to India.
He stated this following a meeting with the Indian Minister for Transport, Nitin Gadkari “There is the scope to strengthen ties between the ports of Antwerp and Mumbai.”
Mr De Croo has also taken part in “Antwerp Port Days” taking place in the Indian port city and inaugurated the mutual training centre between the port of Antwerp and the Jawaharlal Nehru Port, the largest container port in India.
“We should consider how to fix the agenda (for strengthened cooperation) and it may be necessary to create working groups” per sphere, the Minister added.
Mr De Croo evoked two significant occasions. The first is the next joint economic mission taking place with India in Luxembourg. This is part of the Belgium-Lexembourg Economic Union. He also flagged up King Philippe’s state visit due to take place in India in November.
“For India, Antwerp is the most important Europeean port”, the Antwerp Port Alderman, Marc Van Peel, said speaking outside the ministerial mission.
Last year, 6,4 millions tonnes were conveyed in transit from the port of Antwerp to Indian ports, or 3% of total traffic, an increase of more than 26% between 2011 and 2015. The Jawaharlal Nehru Port represents around 30% of total traffic.