Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called upon international investors to invest in India’s maritime sector, which is poised for quantum growth.
He was speaking at the maiden Maritime India Summit 2016 at the Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre here, which has seen participation of over 4,500 delegates from 41 countries.
“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 hardworking coastal communities can become an engine of growth of India,” Mr. Modi said.
The 7,500-km coastline offered a huge investment opportunity as also the vast hinterland, through which a network of mighty rivers flowed. “Our maritime agenda will complement this ambitious infrastructure plan for the hinterland, which is going on in parallel,” he said.
The Ministry of Shipping is showcasing about 250 projects with investment opportunity in the maritime sector. Deals worth over Rs. 82,000 crore are likely to be signed during the three-day event. These projects include various infrastructure development opportunities in 12 major ports, projects in eight maritime States and other agencies.Sagarmala programme
Of these, over 100 projects have been identified under the Sagarmala programme. With more than 14,000 km of navigable inland waterways in the country, there is tremendous potential for development in this sector.
Mr. Modi said the government was committed to integrating infrastructure and building futuristic infrastructure in many sectors. This was being done to benefit the common man, provide employment to the youth and empower coastal communities.
“Port, shipping and maritime infrastructure is prominent among them. It is my government’s endeavour to revive and restore India’s position of eminence in the global maritime sector,” he said. “Building upon our glorious maritime tradition, we are working hard to achieve new heights in this area. In the very early days of our government, we announced the Sagarmala programme. This is aimed at leveraging our long coastline and natural maritime advantages. It also focuses on promoting port-led development, energising the coastal economy and infrastructure development in these areas,” he said.
“We particularly want to modernise our ports and integrate them with special economic zones, port-based smart cities, industrial parks, warehouses, logistics parks and transport corridors,” he said. The government’s vision was to increase port capacity from 1,400 million tonnes to 3,000 million tonnes by 2025.
Urging investors to grab the investment opportunities, the Prime Minister said, “This is the right time to come to India; it is even better to come through the sea route. Don’t miss it; missing it means missing a pleasant journey and a great destination.”