European delegations’ visits - boost bilateral ties
The signing of MOU and launch of portal ‘IndiaNatie’ take place during the current visit of Belgium’s biggest delegation
India plays host to yet another major delegation after the just concluded visit of the eight-member Danish delegation led by Nick Haekkerup, Minister for Trade and Economic Affairs, Denmark having visited the Dadri facility of APM Terminals India Pvt. Ltd. The current one is the Belgian Economic Mission, the biggest ever delegation from Belgium led by Princess Astrid to India, comprising 344 participants, of which 287 are businessmen and businesswomen. The aim of the mission is to further promote bilateral ties between India and Belgium, Belgium being India’s second largest EU trading partner (with a value of over 12 billion euros in 2012) after Germany but before the UK and France.
This morning’s two highlights were the signing of an MOU by the Belgian Port of Zeebrugge with Adani Ports & SEZ Ltd, India’s largest private port developer and part of the Adani Group. The other was the launch of IndiaNatie.
IndiaNatie was officially launched in Mumbai, this morning by HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium in presence of HE Didier Reynders, Dy PM of Belgium, HE Kris Peteers Minister President of the senior delegates from Belgium, Marc Van Peel Chairman Port of Antwerp, Sailesh Bhatia President AMTOI, Shantanu Bhadkamkar Vice President, Viviek Kele Hon Secretary, Tushar Jani & Anand Sheth Advisors AMTOI as well as Committee members of AMTOI and its extended board.
On the occasion of the launch of the Portal, Sailesh Bhatia President AMTOI said, “Several trade bodies, government organizations, chamber of commerce and individuals have taken steps for facilitating trade between India and Europe. Our vision is to catalyze the efforts taken by all the stake-holders by creating this portal for everyone. I am hopeful that IndiaNatie will be instrumental in furthering trade ties between Belgium and India by fostering and augmenting trade, and I hope that by this time next year we should see the fruits of the efforts put in by all.”
The MOU was signed by Karan Adani, Executive Director of Adani Ports & SEZ Ltd, and Joachim Coens, President - CEO of the Port of Zeeburgge. HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium, Representative of His Majesty the King, HE Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade & European Affairs of Belgium and HE Kris Peeters, Minister-President of the Government of Flanders, Flemish Minister for Economy, Foreign Policy, Agriculture & Rural Policy were present during the signing.
According to the MOU, APSEZ will act as a strategic entry port for the lucrative European market. It will now collaborate with the Belgian port to explore joint business opportunities between the two ports along with other forms of trade, shipping, railway infrastructure across India and Europe. The MOU over a period of time will help in an enhanced movement of traffic to and from APSEZ into Europe and beyond. It will also enable sharing of global best practices including technical know-how between two of the leading port developers globally.
Speaking on the development Karan Adani said “India is emerging as a fast growing economy of the world and poised for better growth. As the leading port developer of India and operator of the largest port asset in India, APSEZ is poised to deliver significant value to all the stakeholders even as we continue to adopt global best practices. This MOU with the port Zeebrugge is an important milestone in that direction and we are keen to jointly explore marketing endeavors and strategies to promote Indo-European trade relations across both the ports via leading shipping lines. Both the port entities have complementary strengths including ability to handle VLCCs. This MOU will help us address the European markets better and will be strategic in nature.
IndiaNatie, is a digital portal, which is a joint initiative of AMTOI, Port of Antwerp and VEA (an Antwerp Forwarders Association Body) which aims to bridge the trade gap between India and Europe by offering market information on India and Port of Antwerp, Business cases and testimonials, Business Directory, Latest news and event, FAQs or any specific queries there might be.
According to Port Authority chairman Marc Van Peel, the ‘IndiaNatie’ platform exemplifies the smooth international collaboration between the Antwerp port community and the Indian shipping world: “The various international partners involved in this project have shown that they understand each other’s needs very well. With ‘IndiaNatie’ we are able to offer tailor-made information and help shippers, forwarders and shipping companies to get together. In fact you could call it the dream ‘dating site’ for the Indian and European shipping and logistics communities.”
The Belgium delegation is on a visit of New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.