In order to emulate ports like Rotterdam, Singapore and Hongkong, the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) — the nodal agency for port and port-related developments in Gujarat — will seeking help from two foreign agencies from Norway and Dubai.
“We will be signing two co-operation agreements with Maritime Forum of Norway and Institute of Chartered Ship Brokers, Dubai branch, at an event on December 12. These agreements are meant to help us develop a maritime cluster in the state, similar to the ones that exists at Rotterdam, Singapore and Hongkong. A formal proposal for the development of this cluster has also been sent to chief minister Anandi Patel,” said an official of the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB).
The maritime cluster will develop the “soft infrastructure” needed for the ports in Gujarat. For instance, the cluster will house shipping related business activities like shipping agents, chartering agents, freight forwarders, maritime lawyers, ship financing agencies and other services. “At present, all these services are being given to ports of Gujarat by agencies who are either based in cities like Mumbai and Chennai in India or at overseas locations like Dubai, Singapore and Colombo,” the official remarked.
“This cluster is not capital intensive and can be set up in a few multi-storied buildings as it exists in Dubai,” the official added. The agreements are expected to signed between GMB and the foreign partners at an “international conference and consultative meet” on Maritime Clusters that is being hosted by the GMB at Ahmedabad on December 12.
The event is being organised to involve industry, leading maritime cluster organisations and experts in the state’s upcoming maritime cluster. Union Minister for Shipping, Nitin Gadkari has been invited for the event which is also see experts from Japan, Norway, London, Singapore and others share their experiences on the subject.