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Visit by Mister Hardeep first Secretary of the Indian embassy to Antwerp on February 9, 2015

The First Secretary of the Indian embassy in Brussels, competent for trade, Mister Hardeep Batra, paid a visit to Antwerp on Monday, 9 February 2015. The Honorary Consul General, Marc A. Huybrechts, together with a member of the Consular Task Force, Mister Hiren Shah, had prepared this visit of this high-profile diplomat and were glad to welcome Mister Hardeep who was about to experience an interesting and most informative day.

The morning started with a short but interesting meeting and discussion with the Chairman of the Antwerp Indian Association, Mr Mehul Kothari, and one his committee member. This introduction proved to be useful and a good working relationship will certainly develop between this recently arrived diplomat and the Antwerp Indian Association.

Thereafter the visitor, accompanied by the Consul General and Mister Hiren Shah went to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre where they where received by Mrs. Barbara De Scheemaecker, and her colleague Mrs. Liesbeth. Mister Hardeep listened to a very detailed explanation on the diamond industry in general but also on the particular importance of Antwerp being the most important market location for the global trade in rough diamonds.

Thereafter an on the spot visit was organized to the experts of the High Council for Diamonds(HRD), and the valuers. In souvenir of his visit to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, Mister Hardeep was presented with a most valuable book on the diamond industry which he took home as a worthwhile souvenir of his stay in the Antwerp Diamond Square mile.

After a nice lunch at the MAS, Mr. Hardeep was then welcomed by the Antwerp Port Authorities. No one less than the Alderman for the Port of Antwerp, Mr. Marc Van Peel, and CEO of the Antwerp Port Company welcomed Mr. Hardeep and gave a broad outline of the importance of the Port of Antwerp in the framework of international trade; the Alderman also pointed at all the technical capabilities of this modern port for the transit business. The Honorary Consul General had also arranged for two experienced river pilots, Mr Lauwereins and Mr. Jean Pierre Michaux to be present. They presented a short PowerPoint presentation explaining the delicate task of piloting vessels on the river Scheldt and through the sluices of the Antwerp Port and the particular role a pilot plays in the shipping industry. Two persons of Indian descent were also attending the meeting and gave their comments on the shipping business in Antwerp. Mr Sudhakar Tripathi,superintendant of Mediterranean Shipping Company, the giant Ship owner and one of the best clients of the Port of Antwerp; the other gentleman was Mr Yash Kumar Chawla of of Anglo Eastern Antwerp NV. These fellow Indians explained from their perspective their particular role and of their companies in the shipping industry in Antwerp. Mister Hardeep was also given solid explanation on the special customs regulations in Antwerp.

In the meantime the guests were treated by are well catered tea and snacks thereafter .The first Secretary of the Indian Embassy, left the city of Antwerp very well pleased with the informative day he spend in Antwerp.

Many thanks to the City of Antwerp !

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