Port Mission to Toronto and Montreal
A delegation from the Port of Antwerp headed by port alderman Marc Van Peel is to visit Canada from 31 March to 4 April. The mission which is being organised by the Flemish International Trade agency (FIT) will call at Toronto and Montreal. The working visit by the Port of Antwerp will concentrate on developing trade relations, intensifying the collaboration between the two ports and exchanging know-how. The port of Montreal is Antwerp's largest trading partner in Canada.
The ports of Antwerp and Montreal have excellent trading relations which were formalised in a Memorandum of Understanding in 2013. In the MOU the two ports undertake to share best practices so as to further improve operations on both sides. During the current mission the emphasis will be on exchanging know-how and experience in the fields of business development, business intelligence and customer relations. The port of Montreal for its part will organise three meetings with shipping companies, leading container shippers and important customers in the bulk cargo sector. This will enable the Antwerp delegation to make contacts and reinforce their port’s position as the main gateway for Canadian exports to Europe.
“With this agreement we can examine the possibilities for a joint commercial approach and design new business models to offer our respective customers the best maritime transport possibilities between Europe and North America,” declares Sylvie Vachon, CEO of Montreal Port Authority.
“The ports of Antwerp and Montreal share many of the same characteristics and advantages," explains port alderman Marc Van Peel. “Antwerp owes its prosperity to the river Scheldt, Montreal to the Saint Lawrence. Both are large container ports, are situated far inland and are served by inland waterways, a rail network and extensive road infrastructure. Thanks to such advantages Antwerp has developed into the gateway to Europe, and Montreal to the Mid-West.”
In view of the importance of the North American markets the Antwerp delegation will first pay a two-day visit to the economic hub that is Toronto, where the port of Antwerp will host a networking reception and organise B2B meetings.
Montreal is the second-largest container port in Canada and the fifth-largest in North America. Last year it handled 28.2 million tonnes of freight. Trade between Montreal and Antwerp amounted to 3.3 million tonnes in 2013.
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