‘Swift implementation of various infrastructure projects can boost growth’

| | | Updated on: Dec 21, 2017
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Maersk Line (India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives), a part of Maersk Group, is a leading container shipping line in the region with footprint across 25 offices, 55 inland acceptance points and across 16 Indian ports. Steve Felder, Managing Director of Maersk Line in Asia, spoke to BusinessLine on the domestic shipping industry’s status and prospects. Excerpts:

How was year 2017 for the Indian shipping industry post DeMo and GST?

As exuberance around recent rankings conferred on India by the World Bank and Moody’s just about begins to alleviate, the country gets yet another reason to celebrate with its global containerised import-export recording its highest growth in the past year, at a strong 10 per cent in the third quarter of 2017.

Mirroring this overall increase, imports and exports have also clocked growth at the same rate, outperforming industry expectations. In total, the import-export market in India has grown 7.7 per cent in the first three quarters, in spite of myriad challenges.

Does this mean that the effect of the big reforms are stabilising?

India’s GDP too has taken an upward turn once again indicating that the impact of major reforms such as demonetisation and GST are finally stabilising, and the business environment is expected to improve further once concerns around GST refunds are addressed.

These upticks are, in turn, expected to once more push up consumer spending, further propelling India’s trade prospects in the months to come; more so against the backdrop of recent announcements by the government on awarding infrastructure status to India’s logistics industry and setting up a special cell to promote exports.

What's your outlook for 2018?

Given the evolving positive trends, we expect this growth to, at least, be maintained, and possibly grow further in 2018. Growth can be further sped up by the swift implementation of the various infrastructure projects, such as Sagarmala and dedicated freight corridors.

Published on January 27, 2018

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