VPT holds 1st ever BIMSTEC port Conclave


    The first ever  BIMSTEC ports conclave got off to a thundering start in the port city of Vizag. Consisting of seven member nations, BIMSTEC i.e. the Bay of Bengal initiative for Multi sectoral Technical and economic cooperation is a regional group that constitutes a bridge between South and South East Asia and represents a reinforcement of relations among the seven countries.
    The seven member countries of BIMSTEC comprise of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand. The objective of this alliance is to harness shared and accelerated growth through mutual cooperation in different areas of common interests by mitigating the onslaught of globalization and by utilizing regional resources and geographical advantages.
     ‘India has an important role to play in this region’ stated the Chief guest of the occasion Mr Mansukh L Mandaviya, Union Cabinet Minister of state for Shipping.
The Shipping minister reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of SAGAR(Security and Growth for All in the Region) highlighting the motto of “ Sabka Saath  Sabka Vikas (Collective Efforts Inclusive Growth)” that provides Peace, Prosperity and Security for all in the Region.
    He also expressed that India is keen on forging deep relations with BIMSTEC Member States.
    He said that the conference would look at enhancing port connectivity among the member nations while also learn from each others strengths.
Talking on the Inland waterways in the country Mr Mandaviya stated that 4000 kms of inland waterways has already been developed in the country.
‘Ports will play a vital role in intra regional maritime trade’ said VPT’s newly appointed chairman Mr Rama Mohan Rao, IAS.
    The Chairman of the Indian Ports Association and chairman Mumbai Port Trust Mr Sanjay Bhatia, IAS stated that the conclave would explore mutual areas of cooperation among the member nations while also look at collaborative efforts in Cruise tourism and other areas.
He further informed that soon a national single window would be set up wherein any exporter/importer can benefit from it.
    Three MoUs Signed Three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were signed between Ranong Port (Port Authority of Thailand) and the Port Trusts of Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata during the Conclave. These MoUs will contribute to BIMSTEC objectives of strengthening connectivity and is part of India’s Act East Policy and will enhance connectivity between ports on Thailand’s West Coast and Ports on India’s East Coast i.e. Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata. As per the government these MoUs will also enhance economic partnership by cutting down the sea travel time between India and Thailand from  10- 15 days to 7 days.
VPT deputy chairman Mr PL Harnadh and his team at VPT played an important role in successfully organizing this conclave.

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