U.S.-China Trade War Has No Impact On Domestic Shipping, Says Minister
Amid growing fears of a slowdown in cargo movement due to the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, shipping minister Mansukh Mandaviya said the trade frictions between the largest economies will have no impact on the domestic shipping.
“Trade wars are natural and they happen. But we will not suffer because of that. Our shipping industry has to grow and there is a requirement for cargo movement,” the minister told PTI on the sidelines of the 70th foundation day celebration of DG Shipping.
He said there will be problems in every sector but we need to find out solutions through innovation and technology.
“There will be problems in each and every sector. If there are no challenges, we will not be able to evolve and grow. If we continue being in the safe zone, we will not progress and we will not be able to become competitive. We need to continuously innovate and adopt technology to remain competitive,” he said.
He further said the shipping lines should look at different opportunities to grow in the current slowdown.
“On the policy front, the government is doing its bit. But, the stakeholders need to find different opportunities to grow. Since so many ships berth to our ports, ship repairing is one such sector that can be tapped. Similarly, coastal tourism is another area that can be explored,” he said.
Explaining the opportunities in coastal tourism, he said, “the pilgrim spots which are around the coastal areas can be tapped. Cruise operators can tap this. Instead of spending money on railways and road transport, people can also enjoy cruise tourism which can boost the shipping sector”.
Emphasising on the need to explore coastal shipping and inland waterways for reducing logistics cost, he said the country will be able to reduce logistic cost by 25 percent in the next 10 years if we adopt more coastal shipping and inland waterways for good movement.
“Today, our logistic cost is 14 percent while the global average is 9 percent. That means our cargo is 5 percent costlier than others. By giving boost to inland waters and coastal shipping we want to reduce our logistics cost by 25 percent in the next 10 years by when we expect our exim (export-import) cargo to move by a similar quantum,” he said.