Penningtons Manches partner and chairman of the Indian Maritime Association (UK), Phillip D’Costa, addressed the audience attending the celebrations for National Maritime Day held at the High Commission of India in London on 5 April 2016.
This year the celebration was particularly pertinent as India will be launching the first infrastructure initiatives in its Sagar Mala Project to revolutionise and modernise the nation’s coastal shipping infrastructure in 2016.
The first Maritime India Summit also takes place in Mumbai from 14-16 April 2016 to give businesses and investors in the shipping sector the chance to explore the opportunities presented by India’s bold and ambitious plans for the development of its maritime industry. The Summit aims to bring in $16 billion worth of investment into maritime and infrastructure projects across the whole of India.
In his speech to introduce His Excellency Mr Navtej Singh Sarna, High Commissioner of India, Phillip D’Costa said: “The IMA was founded in 1984 under the auspices of the High Commission of India as an initiative of Captain Barve, First Secretary of Shipping. One of its main objectives was to keep Indian shipping professionals as well as the wider shipping community in the UK and EU informed about developments in the Indian shipping industry. We are therefore delighted to be celebrating National Maritime Day here at the High Commission today. For the IMA, this is like coming home.
“Looking into the future, the Jal Marg Vikas project between Allahabad and Haldia, covering a distance of 1620 km, will considerably improve inland waterway access. India is building and upgrading its ports and seeks to expand capacity across vessel sizes improving the current bulk carrier and tanker fleets with increased draft.
“With a coastline of over 7,500 km, India will benefit greatly from these new projects and investment. This is truly an exciting period in the development of India’s maritime and coastal infrastructure and we at the IMA are very happy to be part of it.”