Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi today inaugurated the maiden Maritime India Summit in Mumbai, asserting his government’s resolve to restore India’s position in global maritime sector. “We Indians are inheritors of a glorious maritime heritage and world’s first dock was built at Lothal in Gujarat, during the Harappan civilization, Building upon our glorious maritime tradition, we are working hard to achieve new heights in this area” he said.
Stressing on the importance of maritime transport, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that everyone should make sure that our lifestyle, transport systems and trading behaviour do not spoil the ecology of the oceans. He also said, the architect of the Indian Constitution Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar, on whose 125th birth anniversary, the Maritime India Summit was being inaugurated, was also the architect of the water and navigation policy in India.
The Prime Minister said India’s vast coastline of 7500 kilometers offers a huge investment opportunity. ” Apart from the length of the coastline, India’s maritime potential also lies in its strategic location on all major shipping highways. In addition, we have an expansive and productive hinterland, through which flows a network of mighty rivers” Mr. Modi added.
Elaborating on the measures taken by his government to promote ease of doing business under ‘Make In India’ programme, the Prime Minister said India plans to mobilize an investment of One trillion rupees (Rs 1 lakh crores) in the port sector to channelize economic growth. Mr. Modi said five new ports are planned to meet the increasing demand of the Exim trade which will rise in proportion with the fast-growing Indian economy.
Prime Minister said India wants to modernize ports & integrate them with SEZs, Port based Smart Cities, Industrial Parks, Warehouses, Logistics Parks. Mr. Modi said the Ministry of Shipping was showcasing about 250 projects with investment opportunity in the Maritime Sector. These projects include various infrastructure development opportunities in 12 Major Ports, projects in eight maritime states and other agencies.
The Prime Minister also informed the port sector gathering from around the world, that India was also promoting coastal shipping in a big way and developing 14,000 kms of navigable inland waterways in the country. “My Government is committed to integration in infrastructure. We are also committed to creating an enabling environment for investors and to facilitate investments with an open mind” Mr. Modi asserted.
“I call upon the global business community to partner with us to give shape to our process of port led development. I am sure, the long coastline of India along with diverse coastal regions and hard working coastal communities can become an engine of growth of India” Mr. Modi added.
Speaking on the occasion, South Korean Minister of Oceans and Fisheries, Mr Kim Young-Suk welcomed the reform measures taken by the Indian government in opening up the port sector. He said, South Korea, which has considerable expertise in port and shipping sector, was ready to help India to modernize its ports and develop the shipping industry.
Union Shipping Minister Mr. Nitin Gadkari spoke about the importance of maritime sector and how the vision of Prime Minister about port-led development was transforming the port and water transport infrastructure sector.
The Governor of Maharashtra Mr. C Vidyasagar Rao, Maharshtra Chief Minister, Mr. Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Gujarat, Ms. Anandiben Patel, MoS Shipping, Mr. P. Radhakrishnan, the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, Mr. Kitack Lim were prominent among those present at the inauguration.
Earlier, the Prime Minister visited a Maritime heritage museum, built in the shape of ship and also interacted with top global CEOs of the port and shipping sector.