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Port of Antwerp to share its expertise with Brazil

Published by , Assistant Editor
Dry Bulk,

The Port of Antwerp is to share its expertise and know-how in the management of ports with maritime professionals in Brazil.

The port will organise a special series of seminars in two already active training centres for maritime professionals in Brazil. The initiative is laid down in a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed on Tuesday this week by port alderman Marc Van Peel with and the Brazilian minister of Transport, Ports and Civil Aviation among others. This follows the Port of Antwerp’s success in applying a similar model in India, where a special training centre for maritime professionals was set up in Mumbai.

“Our training subsidiary APEC has demonstrable, relevant experience in training port professionals […] furthermore, Antwerp is a major trading partner for Brazil. Thanks to our services we will further develop this collaboration,” he concluded.

Towards more modern ports

Brazil currently has 45 publicly-owned ports and 131 private port terminals. The ports are crucial for Brazil’s foreign trade, with no less than 98.6% of its foreign exports passing through them in 2015.


And yet much work needs to be done: the logistical infrastructure urgently needs to be modernised, as one of the most important factors for success in order to boost the economy and to keep the country competitive internationally. The ports are governed by the Ports Act of 2013 which among other things requires their modernisation. 

“It is against this background that APEC has been asked by the Brazilian ministry to make a wider contribution,” explained APEC Managing Director Kristof Waterschoot. “APEC is already well known in Brazilian port circles, as more than 660 maritime professionals from Brazil have so far attended a seminar or other training in Antwerp,” he continued. 

Antwerp and Brazil have undertaken to reform two existing training institutes on the APEC model, one in São Paulo in the South and one in Alagoas in the North. This means that Antwerp will be responsible for among other things designing tailor-made courses and supplying lecturers. “In particular, dockers have to be specially trained. Antwerp already has a strong reputation for the high degree of professionalism of its dock workers, and so we will develop a tailor-made programme for dock labour in collaboration with the Antwerp training centre,” Waterschoot explained.

Gateway to South America

In summer last year the Port Authority’s other subsidiary, Port of Antwerp International, decided to invest US$10 million in Porto do Açu, the first private operational port complex in the North of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil’s industrial heartland. 

Van Peel concluded: “Brazil is the main gateway to South America for the port of Antwerp, and thus for the many Flemish and European countries seeking to do business there […] It is therefore essential for us to have a presence here in many ways, in order to raise the name recognition of Antwerp as the ideal gateway to Europe.” 

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