Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the India's first ever Maritime Summit and said that the country's vast coast line of 7500 km offers vast investment opportunities.
“Our maritime agenda will complement this ambitious infrastructure plan for the hinterland, which is going on in parallel,” he said.
He called upon international investors to invest in India’s maritime sector, which is poised for quantum growth.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said over the last two years major ports have awarded 56 new projects with an investment of more than Rs 250 billion. This itself, he said, will help create an additional capacity of 317 million tonnes per annum.
"Our vision is to increase port capacity from 1,400 million tonnes to 3,000 million tonnes by 2025. We want to mobilise an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore in the port sector to enable this growth," the Prime Minister said.
Making out a strong case, the Prime Minister said Indian shipping sector is ready for "a long haul" and called upon investors not to miss out on "the pleasant journey and great destination".
He recalled India's rich maritime heritage, dating back to the world's first dock built at Lothal in Gujarat around
"This dock was equipped to berth and service ships. It was built after studying tidal flows," Modi said of Lothal, still known by the same name in Ahmedabad district. Besides Lothal, there were several other important ancient Indian ports which proved to be major drivers of global maritime trade over 2000 years ago, he said.
“We Indians are inheritors of a glorious maritime heritage. Maritime transport can be the most extensive mode of transport. It is also the most eco-friendly,” he said.
The Maritime India Summit
2016 at the Bombay Convention and Exhibition Centre has seen participation of over 4,500 delegates from 41 countries.
The Ministry of Shipping is showcasing about 250 projects with investment opportunity in the maritime sector. 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.