Port of Antwerp signs deal with Chinese port
The Antwerp port authority has signed a co-operation agreement with one of China’s youngest ports that will see the two increase trade efficiency and explore the possibility of a rail link
Caofeidian (pictured) is a young, fast-growing port, built partly on land reclaimed from the Bohai Bay, in northeast of the country. Of the 260 million tonnes of goods handled by the port last year, 36 million tonnes was in steel. Every year, Caofeidian trades around 500,000 to 700,000 tonnes of it with Antwerp, Europe’s main port for steel.
The agreement commits the two ports to examine the possibility of a rail link between Antwerp and Caofeidian, as well as improving the sea connection. Later this year, the authorities at Caofeidian will receive a training package created by the Apec Port Training Centre, the port of Antwerp's maritime training institute.
The co-operation is part of the Chinese government’s One Belt One Road programme, created in 2013 with the aim of improving the connections between China’s main ports and industrial cities and major trading centres in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The programme already includes a rail link that follows parts of the old Silk Route, as well as a maritime portion that links China to ports around the Indian Ocean.
Last month, the CEO of the Port Authority, Jacques Vandermeiren, took part in a debate at the One Belt One Road Forum in Beijing, which was attended by 1,500 people, including 29 heads of state and government.
Port of Antwerp
barges entering the port daily
companies in the greater port area
tonnes of freight handled in 2012