The Centre, in a bid to deepen the maritime economy, has identified investment opportunities worth Rs 10 trillion ahead of the Global Maritime India Summit, Union minister of ports, shipping, and waterways Sarbananda Sonowal said on Tuesday.
"With an identified investment opportunities of more than ₹10 lakh crores in the maritime sector of the country, we are standing at a threshold of a major economic upswing which can generate employment opportunities for more than 15 lakhs youth of India," the minister said at the curtain raiser for the summit in Mumbai.
India is actively driving the establishment of 5,000 kilometres of multi-country waterways, a significant initiative that will effectively facilitate trade and transportation across the region, Sonowal added.
According to government estimates, there is a significant scope of investments in the maritime economy, as major ports currently face an infrastructure deficit. The Rs 111-trillion National Infrastructure Pipeline also aims to fill these gaps and make the Indian port economy competitive against developed economies.
The forum will provide a platform for start-ups, researchers, incubators and innovators to showcase their technology & expertise, Sonowal said.
"The focus areas of GMIS, 2023 are Ports of the Future; Decarbonization; Coastal Shipping & Inland Waterways Transportation; Shipbuilding, repair & recycling; Finance, Insurance & arbitration; Innovation & technology; Maritime Safety & Security and Maritime Tourism," he added.
Meanwhile, the current year has seen unprecedented focus on carbon emissions of the shipping sector. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has also put focus on countries adopting means to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within their domestic economies.
"India stands firmly on its commitment to developing environmentally conscious shipping solutions," Sonowal said.
The Centre plans to inaugurate carbon-neutral alternatives and boost the use of battery-powered vehicles and apparatus in our major ports. Green Port guidelines were also launched by the shipping ministry earlier this year, to enable state-owned ports to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.