The Antwerp Port Authority, and its investment subsidiary Port of Antwerp International (PAI), has signed an agreement with development agency Enabel to support the sustainable development of ports in developing countries.
The collaboration agreement was signed at the Port of Antwerp by Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Antwerp Port Authority, Kristof Waterschoot, Managing Director of PAI, and Jean Van Wetter, CEO of Enabel.
As part of the deal, the three parties will combine their forces to foster closer collaboration.
According to a statement, finding and promoting centres of growth is now playing an increasingly important role in Belgium’s vision for development and collaboration.
The Port of Antwerp has suggested that ports can be made more efficient with advice and training, as well as vital improvements to facilities.
Alex Bäcker discusses the Port of Antwerp's virtual queueing innovation in a recent Port Technology technical paper
The development project is expected to boost the supply chain of the countries involved, improving performance, encouraging competition, and helping to create new employment opportunities.
Jacques Vandermeiren said: “As engines of economic growth and development all over the world, ports are an important lever for achieving these SDGs.
“The Port of Antwerp for its part is a major hub in the global supply chain and a leader in creating added value, and as such it aims to play a pioneering role here.
“The entire port community has therefore made a commitment to sustainable growth and development. The signature of this collaboration agreement will enable us to put these SDGs into practice.”
Ports are an important lever for achieving #SDGs. Today @portofantwerp, @portofantwerpin & @Enabel_Belgium signed a collaboration agreement, focusing on further sustainable development for ports in developing countries. It enables us to make the SDGs work! https://t.co/4SUnxnqEVP pic.twitter.com/eKhLFrcVdw
— Jacques Vandermeiren (@jacquesvdmeiren) November 14, 2018
The West Africa region, to which Antwerp has the highest number of direct services, is especially important.
Kristof Waterschoot commented: “Africa is a very important region for us, not only because of our market leader position but also because of the collaboration that we already have with various African ports.
“One good example of this is our collaboration with Benin aimed at modernising the Port of Cotonou. In this case we have assumed temporary responsibility for the entire management of the port.
“This closer collaboration with Enabel will make it possible for us to provide further support for existing projects and to set up new agreements for potential collaboration arrangements.”