The Global Maritime India Summit, which the country held last week for the third time in seven years, will add dimensions to the sector’s growth, which has already been on the rise since 2014, according to Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Sonowal, the Minister for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, has voiced optimism that, given the ecosystem created by the government, India will soon become a global leader in cruise tourism.
From October 17 to 19, India successfully hosted the third edition of the massive maritime event in the financial capital, drawing investment proposals worth Rs 10-lakh crore through 360 initial pacts established with diverse organizations from both the private and governmental sectors.
“I believe that this particular global summit will add new dimensions to our sector’s growth.” “The transportation sector has seen transformation in the last nine and a half years, which is visible also because of growth,” Sonowal told PTI in an interview.
The minister stated that before to 2014, there was no “excitement” or “initiatives” in many areas, nor was there any policy or program, but the speed and scale of growth has increased since then.
He cited the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index (2023), which saw India leap six places to 38th place out of 139 countries, and stated this increase also demonstrates growth.
“How growth will take place unless you have taken some concrete initiative, a concrete programme to be implemented with quality and within a time frame,” he went on to say.
That is why, in addition to coastal shipping and inland waterways, modernization, mechanization, digitalization, and port-led industrial growth, as well as connectivity enhancement, are all major sectors covered in the flagship Sagarmala plan, he noted.
Sonowal indicated that his ministry has identified 809 projects totaling Rs 5.6 lakh crore of investment, and that 222 projects have been finished by investing Rs 1.22 lakh core, while the remainder are in the process of implementation and will be completed by the stipulated deadline of 2035.
“So now firstly it has been implemented and out of developing this infrastructure facility, ecosystem, growth is taking place,” he went on to say.
Sonowal stated that the government has launched a plethora of projects in the ocean, coastal, and river cruise sectors, and that “within a short period of time, India will become the world leader in coastal, river cruise, and ocean cruise (segments).”
“It’s because we’ve already built infrastructure such as international level terminals and cruise terminals.” And in many instances, we will add more value to the (existing) infrastructure to meet the needs of global tourists,” he said.
He said that India has become a global destination even in the river cruise segment.