Antwerp, 14 November 2018 – The Port of Antwerp and its consultancy Port of Antwerp International (PAI) subsidiary signed a Cooperation Agreement with the Belgian development agency Enabel to join forces in developing ports in a sustainable way in developing countries.
Ports are key for developing a country. For the Belgian International Cooperation it is important to offer the right expertise to partner countries in Africa. Improved port efficiency thanks to consultancy, training and better infrastructure strengthens a country’s logistical supply chain, which positively impacts a country’s competitiveness and job creation.
The Cooperation Agreement was signed at the Port House, the stunning new headquarters of the Antwerp Port Authority, by Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of the Antwerp Port Authority, Kristof Waterschoot, Managing Director of PAI, and Jean Van Wetter, Managing director of Enabel, the Belgian development agency. The Cooperation Agreement aims to combine forces and start working more closely together to sustainably develop ports in developing countries.
Jean Van Wetter, Managing director of Enabel: “I am very pleased to sign this Cooperation Agreement. Maritime transport is important for international development. The Port of Antwerp and the Belgian International Cooperation focus much of their activities on Africa: Every year 15 million tonnes of goods are shipped between West Africa and the Port of Antwerp. Thirteen of the fourteen partner countries of Enabel are in Africa and many of these countries have important ports. Improving port management and boosting imports and exports is a key to future-oriented and sustainable development.”
Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of the Antwerp Port Authority: “Ports are drivers of economic growth and development and are important partners in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. As an important player in the global supply chain and a leader in creating added value, the Port of Antwerp will take a leading role in this matter. The whole port community commits to sustainable growth and development. Signing this Cooperation Agreement allows us to contribute to the SDGs in practice.”
In north-western Europe the Port of Antwerp is the primary direct service provider to West Africa. Every year 15 million tonnes of goods are traded between the Port of Antwerp and West Africa.
Managing Director of PAI: “Africa is a very important region for us. Not only because of our market leader position but also because of the cooperation with some African ports. The cooperation with Benin to temporarily take control and modernise the Port of Cotonou is a nice example in case. Close cooperation with Enabel offers us the opportunity to support existing projects and to set up new potential cooperation initiatives. This way we can pass on our expertise in a sustainable way to ports in developing countries so they can further develop autonomously.
Photo: Kristof Waterschoot, Managing Director of PAI, Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of the port of Antwerp, and Jean Van Wetter, Managing director of Enabel