India and US agree to boost cooperation in maritime sector
The Governments of India and the US have agreed to improve their ties in the field of maritime industry with plans to implement 150 projects under the new collaboration.
The 150 projects are estimated to have the potential of attracting $50-60bn in infrastructure investment, and an additional $100bn of investment for encouraging industrial growth.
Meanwhile, American ports are showing interest in India’s comprehensive port-led development, especially the Sagarmala programme.
Sagarmala aims to reduce logistics cost for EXIM and domestic trade with nominal infrastructure investment to create four million new direct jobs and another six million indirect jobs.
During the interaction between the Indian Government and the representatives of Harbor Department of the City of Long Beach, US, Indian union minister of shipping, road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari offered investment opportunities in building and developing new ports, and construction of new berths / terminals in existing ports.
Gadkari also offered investment opportunities in coastal economic zones, dredging, ship building, ship repairing, ship recycling, development of inland waterways and coastal and cruise shipping to the concerned US officials.
The Government of India has also explored joint venture opportunities with the Port of Long Beach regarding the country’s flagship container handling Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) to promote transfer of technology and improve bilateral commerce.
Furthermore, the Indian Government has agreed to offer maritime clusters for secondary industrial support and design centres, as well as financial assistance to the shipbuilding industry.
The government also noted that thematic studies and action plans have been developed for implementation, major elements of which include coastal shipping revolution, coastal industrial Greenfield plants, as well as reducing time to export containers by five days, and cutting export costs by $50 per container.
Established in 1911, the Port of Long Beach currently handles more than 2,000 vessels every year and helps to move $180bn in cargo.