In the forthcoming Global Maritime India Summit 2023, to be held in Delhi from October 17 to 19, an investment commitment of up to ₹10 lakh crore is expected. This will create a lot of powerful ecosystems in the near future, said Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways.

“This is the age of competition in the 21st century, and we need to compete with the best of the best and ultimately become the best. That is our journey, which we need to carry forward efficiently and effectively with our abilities, wisdom, innovation, and scale,” he said at the summit’s Roadshow in Chennai on Monday.

Export or import, whether by ports, inland waterways, or coastal cruises, are all modes that can be made seamless so that they attract investors and human resources required for the maritime industry.

Cruise tourism — ocean, coastal, or river — has enormous potential to offer. The minister said that a few months ago he flagged off a cruise from Chennai to Sri Lanka, and so far 27 cruises have given the call. So far. That’s the power of this Chennai international cruise terminal, which has developed the cruise within a short span of time, he said.

Green hyrdogen hub

Union Shipping Secretary TK Ramachandran said that India will get the first green hydrogen hub, perhaps somewhere in Tamil Nadu, in Thoothukudi, very shortly. Green Hydrogen project in Thoothukudi, for which the VOC Port has worked very closely with the Tamil Nadu government, with nearly 224 acres of land being offered, he said.

Tamil Nadu Industry Secretary S Krishnan said that the attractiveness of Tamil Nadu as a destination for investment and primarily as a manufacturing destination, one of the key factors that makes the State attractive is the presence of port infrastructure in the State.

In major sectors, including automobiles, electronics, and textiles, the presence of the ports in the State ensures Tamil Nadu as a competitive destination for investment.

Industries in Tamil Nadu need to produce not just for their own consumption in the State, rest of India but also for the rest of the world. “That’s when we will become truly competitive,” he said.

A handout on the summit says that fiscal 2023 witnessed nearly $800 billion of international trade through Indian seaports. The key opportunity areas to be discussed at the summit include port development and expansion; green port technology enablement; technology upgrades in shipbuilding and maritime skilling; research; and capacity building.

Later speaking to newspersons, Minister Sonowal said 34 projects under Sagarmala have been completed at a cost of ₹8,717 crore at the three major ports: Chennai, Kamarajar at Ennore, and VOC in Thoothukudi. These projects include capacity addition, modernisation, mechanisation, and green initiatives, he said.