The port of Antwerp is taking steps to further boost its name recognition in India, by expanding its network of local representatives and setting up the Port of Antwerp Alumni Association.
On the occasion of the recent state visit to India by HM King Philippe of Belgium
, three honorary representatives for North, South and West India were appointed by Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Antwerp Port Authority
, to support the port’s representative office in Mumbai.
Further, the setting up of the Port of Antwerp Alumni Association (PA3), will give an additional boost to Antwerp’s reputation in India.
The port of Antwerp has long had an active presence in India. Already in 2006 the Port Authority appointed a first full-time representative in the port city of Mumbai. Since then Raj Khalid has been busy promoting the interests of Antwerp. A few months ago he was joined in the Mumbai office by Malini Dutt.
Thanks to this full-time representation the number of initiatives in India has risen steadily, with the port of Antwerp gaining increasing name recognition in this economically important region as a result. The annual calendar includes visits in both directions, to India and Antwerp, and in 2015 a training centre was established in Mumbai with expertise from Antwerp.
Most recently the network has been expanded with the appointment of three honorary representatives, each of them active in a specific region. Rajesh Verma, chairman of the Ludhiana Custom House Agents Association, has become the honorary representative for North India.
Deepak Ramaswamy, who works with the ICSA Group, has been appointed honorary representative for South India, and Prashant Popat, director of Velji Dosabhai & Sons Pvt., for West India. The three were officially installed at a ceremony in Mumbai.
“We believe strongly in the potential of India,” declared Jacques Vandermeiren at the reception. “We are proud that Antwerp has the largest market share in India of all ports in North-West Europe. In order to reinforce this position we have expanded our Mumbai-based network with these honorary representatives focusing on particular regions, thus emphasising our ambition to further boost trade between Antwerp and India in the future.”
With APEC, the Antwerp training centre, the port of Antwerp has a long tradition of training port professionals, both at home and abroad. And with the opening of JNPT APEC Port Training Centre two years ago this expertise was also established in the Indian port city of Mumbai.
Meanwhile in 2015 a three-day training programme was introduced in Antwerp for young Indian professionals, mainly from logistics companies, for them to learn about the port of Antwerp in all its aspects. So far the course has attracted some 60 participants from all over India.
Graduates from this programme will now automatically become members of PA3. This new network association will organise events in India with the aim of bringing professionals together and enabling them to exchange experience.
PA3 did not have to wait long for its first event: an initial seminar was held on 9 November on the subject of Big Data. The speakers at the event were the Antwerp professionals Christian Leysen from Ahlers and Dennie Lockefeer from Van Moer Logistics.