MA minister envisions port cities’ conversion to major hubs

By Staff Reporter
Thursday – October 29, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The maritime affairs (MA) minister Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Wednesday, informed that Pakistan’s 1,100 kilometres (kms) coastline is rich with opportunities of connecting Central, South Eastern and Eastern Asian markets with the energy rich Middle Eastern and with markets of Europe and Africa.

According to a press release, the envoys from western and central European countries were hosted by maritime affairs ministry (MAM) on the fourth and final day of a series of meetings conducted to showcase MAM’s two year performance and the blue economy initiatives.

The meetings also provided a platform for garnering support for Pakistan’s candidacy in the upcoming international maritime organisation (IMO) elections next year.

The MA minister Zaidi continued that Pakistan has a huge potential, as far as its maritime resources are concerned.

Coastal tourism, real estate development, seafood exports and sea trade will dynamically change not only the economic conditions of Pakistan, but its dividends will be distributed among other regional countries, especially the landlocked Central Asia.

He quoted the examples of ports transforming the cities with infrastructure development necessary for industries and the adjacent export processing zones (EPZs) that have transformed countries into trade and manufacturing hubs.

Citing the example of New York port authority, the minister shared his firm resolve to transform Karachi into a more connected port city with developed and well maintained infrastructure that will boost not only investors’ confidence but will also facilitate the existing industries to establish a supply chain that will ultimately bolster Pakistan’s exports, substantially.

MA minister Zaidi mentioning the new shipping policy, reiterated the incumbent regime’s steps, including such business friendly policies that have the requisite potential to attract foreign direct investments (FDIs) and will give rise to a private shipping sector with government having the role of a regulator, hence saving the billions of dollars of precious foreign exchange being spent on the annual freight bill.

He informed the audience about Pakistan’s intent to contest the upcoming IMO elections in category C.

In a period of one week, MAM held four such meetings whereby the initiatives by the ministry were praised by the dignitaries representing countries from all regions of the world.

The ambassadors from Austria, Canada, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Germany and the United Kingdom (UK) attended the meeting.