April 27th, 2017

- - - the spoken word alone prevails - - -


Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to congratulate IBLCCI for holding this yearly seminar, which has become a true ‘classic’, attracting many people from the logistics sector.


There is a good reason to hold this seminar this week given the recent launch of a direct air connection between Brussels and Mumbai, and the important potential for air cargo flows between both our countries. The additional focus tonight on cold chain logistics seems equally appropriate, given the huge expertise our ports and airports have in this field.


A specific area in which Belgian airports excel is air transportation of sensitive products such as pharmaceuticals. Both Brussels Airport and Liège Airport have invested substantially to enhance their capacities for managing the transportation of these products. BRUCargo was the first airport worldwide to receive IATA’s CEIV Pharma Certification in 2014 and Liège followed shortly after.


India being an important manufacturing hub for pharmaceuticals, I am convinced that the direct connection between Mumbai and Brussels will offer enormous opportunities for Indian companies to cover the European market via our country.

Indeed, it is no coincidence that many of the Indian companies that are established in Belgium have activities in the pharma sector. The head office of Cipla Europe and Ranbaxy Laboratories are both located in Antwerp, furthermore we have Jubilant Pharmaceuticals near Ghent, Piramal and Veeda Clinial Research in Brussels, and Wockhart in Lillois. I hope of course that other Indian companies will follow their example.


Also in maritime trade, Belgian ports have demonstrated their capacities in the field of logistics. Our ports are renowned for their “value-added logistics”, meaning that goods are not only loaded and unloaded in the port, but also further process in state-of-the-art facilities. The port of Antwerp for example is not only the world’s biggest tobacco storage center, it is also the place where almost half of the European stock of raw coffee is stored and it has the most automated fruit terminal in the world. But also the ports of Ghent and Zeebruges is very renowned for their handling of fresh produce. The port of Ghent is even nicknamed the “fruit juice port” of Europe.


As all of you know very well, all of these products need top notch warehousing facilities, with adjustable light installations and / or professional humidity measurement installations. From fresh fruit to pharmaceutical products: for every product that requires temperature-controlled handling, our ports offer an uninterrupted cold chain.


The challenges for India in the field of cold chain logistics are still huge and I believe that we can bring in a lot of Belgian expertise so as to assist our Indian friends in further developing a cold chain infrastructure. So I would like to conclude by stating that there is definitely something “in the air” tonight, a huge opportunity that will help us further strengthening and diversifying our bilateral ties.


I thank you for your invitation and wish you all an excellent seminar with plenty of networking opportunities and I am of course looking forward to exchange views with you later on tonight.


- - - the spoken word alone prevails - - -

< Vorige bericht