Business / Industries

Belt and Road Initiative 'crucial' for Belgian port of Antwerp: port president

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-06-27 13:19

BRUSSELS - China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative will provide a "crucial" opportunity for the development of Europe, and especially for the port of Antwerp, said the president of the Port of Antwerp, Marc Van Peel, during a recent interview with Xinhua.

According to Van Peel, the port of Antwerp, is both important for European transit and the largest European port for connecting with Africa.

As China carries out much of its trade with Africa, it may use Antwerp as a transit port, through the maritime-rail link, said the president.

As an important crossroads in the heart of western Europe between the land-based Belt Road and the maritime Silk Road, Antwerp can dispense Chinese products destined for European markets, as well as those for other continents such as Africa, he said.

Van Peel said it is an initiative good for both China and countries situated along the two routes, which will strengthen ties between China and the countries along these routes in Asia and Europe and will promote trade, investment and co-operation.

The port of Antwerp, the second largest in Europe, is the ideal transit port for locations in Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and the southern Netherlands.

In 2014, total maritime traffic with China was 10 million tons via port of Antwerp. This figure is rapidly increasing, with more and more shipping lines opening linking Antwerp to Chinese ports.

Furthermore, Antwerp is an affiliate port to those of Shanghai, Dalian, Shenzhen and Qingdao. Chinese companies have already invested in Antwerp, in the harbor and other sectors. More than 3, 800 Chinese maritime professionals are trained in Antwerp at the APEC-Antwerp/Flanders Port Training Center.

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