Trade mission to Russia

Friday 27 04 2018

The Antwerp port community and its various partners went on a trade mission to Moscow and Saint Petersburg from 22 to 28 April. During the mission the Antwerp delegation visited a number of leading companies, research & innovation centres and other locations. Investment seminars were also given and there were opportunities for networking for the benefit of the Antwerp entrepreneurs.

A delegation with 130 participants including 40 from the port community met with local business leaders in various sectors and from both cities, and were able to showcase the advantages and opportunities afforded by the port of Antwerp. The occasion for the mission was the 60th anniversary of the official treaty of friendship between Antwerp and Saint Petersburg.

Important trading partner

Russia is the second-largest overseas trading partner of the port of Antwerp, with a freight volume of 14 million tonnes in 2017. Moscow is of global economic importance as the headquarters of many companies, and the many Russian concerns in the oil and gas sector generate considerable volumes of cargo for Antwerp and its chemical cluster. The ongoing investments in this sector also offer great opportunities for transport of project cargo from or via the port of Antwerp.

Saint Petersburg with its port is a main gateway to the Russian market. Liquid bulk has long formed the basis of enormous volumes of exports to Western Europe. Currently, imports and exports of containers, steel products and machinery are all expanding rapidly.

Port seminar and visits

Participants in the maritime sector were among other things able to attend a port seminar and also visited the deep water port of Bronka which with its ecological characteristics is a pioneer in the Baltic region. Delegation members additionally visited the Technopark innovation hub and the Ahlers logistics group which is currently celebrating 25 years of presence in Russia. Ahlers now has some 250 employees in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Chelyabinsk, Novorossiysk and Novosibirsk. Over the past three years Ahlers Russia has consistently achieved double-digit growth in its turnover.

"Where others fear to tread, we forge ahead. Russia is unique, but to make it there you must be prepared to embrace the unexpected. Working with a strong local team and having a local presence is one of our biggest advantages. My people are not only amazing experts in their own special field but are also dedicated to Ahlers heart and soul.  The ideal combination to ensure further growth for years to come."

declared Stefan Van Doorslaer, managing director of Ahlers Russia.