The Shipping Corporation of India is seeking to expand coastal shipping and trans-shipment of goods and strengthening the opportunities for trade in the South-East Asian countries as a part of the country’s Look East Policy.
It has identified Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand among potential areas for trade.
The Look East Policy hopes to boost trade in the region and also offers immense opportunity for ports located in the eastern part of the country such as the Krishnapatnam, which has developed high-quality infrastructure, Sarveen Narula, Director of Liner & Passenger Services Division of The Shipping Corporation of India, said. Speaking at the launch of the Krishnapatnam port to Yangon service operated by SCI last week, Narula said, “Given the trade potential, we may make this service a weekly feature and add bigger vessels up from 1,500 TEU to 4,500 TEU.”
He said that the Yangon service will boost bilateral trade relations between India and Myanmar by opening opportunities for exporters and importers in these countries. The container terminal at Krishnapatanm will aid the new service and facilitate trade to reach out to the growing markets in Myanmar and also within the country.
Established in 1961, the SCI has just about completed 53 years. Fifty of the 53 years in business have been profitable. The last two years have been extremely difficult due to slowdown in the world economy, he said.
The heavy vessels calling into the Krishnapatnam port will aid trans-shipment to other locations. There are signs of increasing exports with items such as cement being added, he explained
Part of the Working Group to Draft Recommendations for Multi-Modal Transport network in the country, Narula said that several countries in the Far East have potential to boost the trade once new facilities are created. These include opportunities to launch services to Vietnam and Thailand.
According to port sources, some of the cement manufacturers such as Zuari have started exports from the port and steel majors such as Tata Steel and the Jindals are importing iron ore in large vessels. These then get moved into other locations through rail rakes. The other possibility is to move it in smaller ships to other ports and then to the manufacturing sites.
Source: The Hindu Business Line
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