Antwerp and China Unite
The Port of Antwerp has announced a partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) after signing a Memorandum of Understanding in January 2016 at the official opening of the ICBC’s Antwerp branch in Brasschaat Castle, which aims to explore new opportunities that match the ‘One Belt One Road’ strategic plan.
With this project, China aims to link its main industrial cities more closely to commercial centres elsewhere in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Antwerp has been identified as an important region, with investment potential in the port forming an important source of collaboration.
In conjunction with this collaboration ICBC intends to bring the Port of Antwerp and related investment opportunities to the attention of Chinese investors.
Luc Arnouts, CCO at Port of Antwerp, said:: “Our efforts are directed at strengthening the positions of both sides as part of the One Belt One Road project.
“Antwerp is an attractive partner not only because of its location in the heart of Europe; its many overseas shipping connections make Antwerp a leading port at the western end of the modern ’Silk Road.
“Antwerp is also an important partner for China from the strategic point of view, thanks to the various collaboration agreements with ports or regions along the new Silk Road.”
Arnouts concluded: “Add to that the numerous attractive investment opportunities in our port, and the checklist that led to today’s agreement is complete.”
In 2015 the total volume of shipping trade with China rose by nearly 40%. This rise in the volume of freight may be significantly due to higher figures for imports from China which is up by more than 60%.