During the City Trade Mission to Seoul, Antwerp Port Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding with KITA, the Korea International Trade Association. With 77,000 member companies KITA represents Korea's international trading community. The proposed collaboration between Antwerp Port Authority and KITA represents a significant boost for the port, emphasised Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO-designate of the Port Authority, just before the signing of the MoU.
Antwerp hopes to attract significantly more trade from Korea in future, while KITA for its part sees Antwerp as the gateway to Europe for its exports.
"In 2015 we sent 77,000 TEU of container freight to Antwerp. Trade between Korea and Belgium can and must be expanded, and the port of Antwerp has a significant role to play here," declared Mr. Kim Jungsoo, executive managing director of KITA.
The agreement signed jointly by him and Jacques Vandermeiren focuses on promoting the Antwerp logistics network and exchanging information.
The signature of the MoU was followed by a seminar at which the Korean attendees were treated to a presentation given by Luc Arnouts, Chief Commercial Officer of Antwerp Port Authority, about the advantages of Antwerp.
In the course of the presentation he referred to the meeting between the mayor of Antwerp and leading representatives of Antwerp Port Authority on the one hand and C.K. Yoo, president of HMM, the largest South Korean shipping line on the other.
Last week the company announced that it was setting up a strategic alliance with the 2M network which has a strong position in Antwerp.
"This reinforces us in our belief that in future we will see more cargo coming to the port of Antwerp from Korea," declared Arnouts.
The day ended with a Shippers' Dinner at which representatives of the Antwerp port companies who attended were able to network with their Korean business relations.
Source: Port of Antwerp