India declares plans to fortify their position in the global maritime sector with their $15bn port development plan at the Maritime India Summit.
Called Sagarmala, the project will facilitate the upgrade of the Indian ports and intergrate them with special economic zones (SEZ), port-based smart cities, industrial parks, warehouses, and logistics parks.
The port development programme will feature 250 projects, with investment opportunity in the Maritime Sector, including different infrastructure development opportunities in 12 Major Ports projects in eight maritime states and other agencies.
It is said to aim to develop water transportation, which is to be leveraged on to reduce logistics costs incurred in India.
The project is based on four strategic levers, optimising multi-modal transport to decrease the cost of domestic cargo, reducing the time and cost of export-import cargo logistics, lowering costs for bulk industries by locating them in the vicinity of the coast, and enhancing export competitiveness by locating discrete manufacturing clusters near ports.
Earlier this week, India had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Republic of Korea to mutually cooperate and assist in port related matters, including development of ports, port related industry, maritime relationship and cooperate in the tasks of sharing of technology.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that India will leverage on the 7,500km coastline to offer investment opportunities to the port industries.
He said: "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."
The Sagarmala port development programme is anticipated to pave the way for annual logistics cost savings of around $5.25bn and is projected to enhance India's merchandise exports to $110bn by 2025.
The programme is also expected to generate approximately ten million jobs.
The project is estimated to be completed in five years, according to a report by the Economic Times.
Image: An image of the Mumbai port. Photo: courtesy of Jaxer.