COSCO Shipping Ports , the world’s leading port operator, announced a signing ceremony was held today with Port of Zeebrugge in Brussels of Belgium for the concession terms of CSP Zeebrugge Terminal.
The event also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Company and CMA CGM Group, the Marseille based world’s leading shipping company and member of Ocean Alliance, for CMA’s initial investment of 10% in CSP Zeebrugge.
Kris Peeters, Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Work, Economic Affairs and Consumer Affairs, responsible for Foreign Trade, said, “COSCO Shipping's decision once again proves that, with its open economy and central position in Europe, Belgium is the ideal place for logistic investments. During the first nine months of 2017, our exports to China increased by 20 percent, reaching 6 billion Euro."
Kris added: "China is getting more significant as a trading partner. Last year’s opening of a direct train connection between the port and the city of Daqing in China already testified to this fact. The continued presence of COSCO Shipping in Zeebrugge contributes to strengthening Belgian-Chinese trade and the international position of the Port of Zeebrugge.”
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Qu Xing, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Kingdom of Belgium said, “The launch of Belt and Road initiative between China and Belgium in 2014 has laid a solid foundation for today’s signing ceremony. Port of Zeebrugge is farsighted in partnering with China; it’s a pioneer by making a series of decisive moves and has achieved noticeable results.”
Farid T. Salem, Executive Director of CMA, said, “Today is a great day for COSCO ShippingPorts, CMA, Port of Zeebrugge and for all of you as we are assembled for signing the concession agreement and MoU of investment in Zeebrugge Terminal. As one among the leaders in the shipping industry, we are enthusiastic to be part of Zeebrugge Terminal’s future at the invitation of our strategic partner COSCO Shipping Ports. The Terminal will be part of our global strategy and we are pleased to become a partner of COSCO Shipping Ports in this Terminal, and to contribute to its success.”
As the second largest port in Belgium, the Zeebrugge port enjoys favourable geographical position. CSP Zeebrugge is close to Hamburg and Le Havre and is within a short distance of Great Britain.