NewZNew (Chandigarh) : Inviting the industry from Chandigarh and Punjab region, especially the exporting MSMEs and large scale companies from the region, at a session organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Chandigarh Council, to operate from the largest integrated port of Europe as a cost and time effective gateway to the whole of Europe, H.E. Mr Jan Luykx, The Ambassador of Belgium to India mentioned that “The Port of Antwerp, located in Flanders, Belgium close to the main economic centres in the European Union would easily allow the North Indian exporters to reach out to a market base of 500 million people across more than 40 countries in just one day, with nautical accessibility to sea port, direct services to more than 1400 ports worldwide, world class hinterland connections via barge, rail, road and pipelines,and Specialized and most advanced services for warehousing and handling for all types products including the perishables”.
The port has latest lifting technology, State-of-the-art handling equipment, Automated warehouses and a throughout cold storage system, including cold containers, cold trucks and cold warehouses which doesn’t let the cold chain break”, he added.
“North India has immense exporting potential and Beljium is ready to offer all possible support to the indutsry in this region. We can really work together in the fields of food proecessing, IT & IteS, Automotive, Advanced Engineering/Manufacturing, ICT/Digital Technologies, clean energy etc, considering a unique similarlity of Punjab and Chandigarh region with Beljium, i.e a majority of units in Beljium are SMEs too”, he informed.
“We firmly believe that this region is slated for immense growth in exports in the coming years, with the Make in India campaign, skills and the entrepreneurial spirit prevalent here and hence the port of Antwerp can play a critical role for the exporters here in reaching out to Europe effectively. The key advantage of this port is that it is a virtual free zone, enabling storage and handling of products at same location electronically, with no need for pre-financing. Further, its location is ideal as 60% of the European purchasing power is situated within 500 km (311 miles) from Antwerp”, he emphasised.
“Though India is already a top 10 trading partner of Antwerp with 5.1 million tonnes in 2014, but there is immense potential as India is the only growing BRICS nation. We can act as an ideal trans-shipment Centre for Indian goods, which would save a lot of your transit costs and time”, he added.
Regarding India’s ports scenario, he shared that “ India needs to invest more in enhancing its infratsurcture capabilities if it has to ensure that its economy grows at a desired pace. There is a need to develop most advanced knowhow, cold chains and logistics management system in India. In this way, a lot of wastage of perishable items can be saved. We are ready to support as much as possible. We have also recently signed an agreement with Ministry of shipping, GoI to start joint Training schools for ports management in India, starting with Mumbai”.
Mr Amarbir Singh, Chairman, CII Chandigarh Council shared that ““India’s relationship with Belgium is a mutually beneficial and wide ranging; covering- development, regional stability, trade and investment, agriculture, minerals, transhipment etc. But the potential is even more. Today’s session was an initiative to boost this bilateral trade and learn how we can benefit from the 100 km long port of Antwerp, located strategically”.