Antwerp signs deal with Iran to boost trade

Iran says it has signed a key basic agreement with Belgium’s Antwerp port which is expected to help expand container traffic and bulk freight between the two countries within the next few months. 

Antwerp port officials have been quoted by the media as saying that the agreement was signed with Shahid Rajaee Port Authority – which controls the port of Bandar Abbas in Iran – in Tehran last week.

It envisages a closer cooperation between companies in both ports to develop trade. This, as safett4sea.com has reported, will involve among other things exchanging information on statistics and port development projects, as well as collaboration in the field of training.

“Today, we are restoring our trading relations with Iran, a country with great economic growth potential that is also a gateway to neighboring countries,” Eddy Bruyninckx, the CEO of Antwerp Port Authority, has been quoted as telling the reporters, after signing the agreement. “Antwerp is perfectly situated to support the further growth of the trade with this country,” added Bruyninckx.

The agreement between Bandar Abbas and Antwerp runs for a period of five years, after which it can be renewed.

Bandar Abbas accounts for 90 percent of maritime container traffic in Iran and for nearly half of the 200 million tons of freight handled by the 11 Iranian ports put together.

Until 2010, Antwerp was the most important European destination port for Iranian cargo, before sanctions were applied, safett4sea.com reported.

Then in March this year, the Iranian shipping company IRISL returned to Antwerp with the first container ship since sanctions were lifted, it added.

By Press TV