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French Ports offer expertise to boost maritime trade

Top officials of HAROPA, the largest French port for container trade, are willing to extend their expertise to major ports authorities in India to boost maritime container trade between the two nations.

“We have been visiting India once in two years,” Herve Martel, CEO, Le Havre Port said. “This is our fourth visit to India. During 2016, the maritime container trade between India and HAROPA grew by over 7%. We would like to achieve double-digit growth soon,” he said.

For the last few days, top officials from HAROPA are in India holding discussions with Indian port authorities to increase EU-India trade and trans-shipment volumes through the ports.

HAROPA is a joint venture between the French ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris. The HAROPA alliance was created in 2012 with the purpose of building up a European-sized port system in the field of industry, logistics and tourism.

“India’s exports to France stood at €6 billion, whereas imports were €3 billion. It is a big market and the opportunity is huge. We are focused very much on India and that’s why we have brought a big delegation to boost maritime container trade,” said Capt. Ram Iyer, HAROPA representative for India.

India exports leather, textile and garments, chemicals, pharma and manufactured goods to France. It imports paper, carton, rubber, plastic, wooden chips, machinery, motors and parts.

“HAROPA is the leading French port and gateway to Europe. We have a single-window clearance system in place for all the three ports. Besides, we have a simple, rapid, secure, easily accessible and low cost customs clearance. We have a 100% paperless customs clearance rate,” said Herve Cornede, Director Commercial, HAROPA.

Le Havre port handled containers, petroleum and cars, Rouen port handled general cargo, chemicals and Paris handled small vessels.

“Most of the ports face two challenges - congestion and capacity constraint. We do not face congestion at all. Capacity is also not a constraint. Our capacity is huge and we can invest, when needed. For India trade, we will be the ideal gateway to Europe,” said Capt. Ram Iyer.

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