The ports of Antwerp and Guangzhou are to collaborate even more closely under the terms of a twinning agreement signed this week in the Chinese port city.
Antwerp, the second-largest port in Europe, and Guangzhou, number eight in the world, have long had a close relationship with each other.
The twinning agreement now takes the relationship between the ports to a new level, to include among other things commercial collaboration.
The ports of Guangzhou and Antwerp already signed a collaboration agreement back in 2010 for the transfer of skills and know-how under the auspices of APEC, the training subsidiary of Antwerp Port Authority. Since then leading maritime professionals from Guangzhou have received tailor-made training in Antwerp.
Guangzhou recognises the importance of the maritime training and expertise which Antwerp has to offer, and so in collaboration with APEC and three other partners it is setting up a joint training institute under the name of Guangzhou-Antwerp Port Training & Consultancy Co. Ltd. This training centre will offer courses in port operations for professionals from Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Currently there are two shipping services between North-West Europe and China calling at Guangzhou and Antwerp. By developing a joint marketing approach the respective port authorities aim to get both ports included in several more loops.
Other action points in the twinning agreement include the exchange of information on port development and best practices for sustainable enterprise in a port environment.