GANDHINAGAR : Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Patel, while participating in the seminar on port-led development under Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit (VGGS) 2024 stated that, under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, a new history of prosperity has been created through ports in the country. Gujarat, too, has embraced the mantra of “Ports for Prosperity and Ports for Progress.”
The Chief Minister emphasized his commitment to contribute beyond the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He highlighted that, The Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit which began in 2003 by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi during his tenure as Chief Minister has made Gujarat a pioneer in port-led development in the last two decades. The state has been established as a role model for port-led city development and rightly so, the theme for the 10th edition of the Vibrant Summit is set as “Gateway to the Future.”
He highlighted that Gujarat, with its extensive 1600-kilometre coastline, holds the distinction of having the country’s longest coastal stretch. The Chief Minister underscored the strategic initiatives undertaken by the state government, under the guidance of the Prime Minister, will transform Gujarat’s coastline into a key gateway for national prosperity. The state is actively involved in the concurrent expansion and enhancement of existing ports, along with the establishment of new port cities and greenfield ports.
Highlighting that Gujarat has more than 49 ports including both major and minor, the Chief Minister pointed out that these ports handle around 39% of the country’s cargo. Gujarat’s robust road connectivity and maritime development contribute to its high ranking in the Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS) index.
He highlighted Gujarat’s achievement as the fifth most urbanized state, emphasizing significant milestones in urban development. The Chief Minister stressed the importance of fostering a vibrant economy through sustainable infrastructure in cities near ports, aligning with the Prime Minister’s vision. He ensured the state’s commitment to port-led city development under the guidance of the Prime Minister.
He further highlighted the Prime Minister’s emphasis on the Blue Economy, expressing confidence that discussions at the first Vibrant Summit of Amrit Kaal will enhance both the country’s and Gujarat’s Blue Economy. He believes it will play a pivotal role in shaping the roadmap for the country which will take it from maritime prosperity to global prosperity.
Commending the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit initiated by the Prime Minister in 2003, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shri Sarbananda Sonowal stated that it has become a cornerstone of India’s development. Under the Prime Minister’s vision, India, with a significant contribution from Gujarat, is poised to achieve a $30 trillion economy by 2047, propelling the nation towards becoming a superpower.
Speaking about INS Vikrant ship as a prime example of ‘Amanirbhar Bharat,’ Shri Sonowal noted India’s substantial growth in the global maritime space and emphasized the importance of port-led industrialization. He outlined that increased traffic would drive trade, creating new employment opportunities. He also presented the vision of the ‘Sagarmala project @2035,’ highlighting the shift towards green ports and the transformation of various ports into hydrogen hubs.
Shri Sarbananda highlighted the significant contribution of ongoing initiatives to the sustainable development of the country’s maritime sector. He mentioned that development projects exceeding INR 4500 crores are currently in progress for the container terminal at Deendayal Port in Kandla. The setting up of the Green Hydrogen Park and the plan to designate Kandla and Tuticorin ports as green hydrogen hubs is also in the pipeline, he added.
Mr Keith Svendsen, CEO at APM Terminals, expressed honour in being a part of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, focusing on port-led sector development. He lauded the shipping sector’s hyper-efficiency and stressed the importance of infrastructure development for port-led city growth. He further mentioned that increased shipping and logistics connectivity will help create new job opportunities. He prioritized sector investment, particularly in developing port cities and town planning and highlighted the crucial role of skill development for youth and the future potential of green hydrogen.
H.E. Ms. Marisa Gerards, Ambassador of the Netherlands to India, Bhutan, and Nepal described the Netherlands and India-Gujarat as natural partners and highlighted the role of their vast coastlines in bilateral development. She noted the importance of direct investment in the maritime sector, expecting it to boost industrial activity and create employment opportunities. The Netherlands has signed an MoU in this direction with India and expressed willingness for further collaboration.
Chief Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Shri K. Kailasanathan spoke about the strategic significance of Gujarat’s geographical location, being closest to the countries of the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. He advocated for an expansion of the port policy, citing the enormous potential that Gujarat holds. Reflecting on the historical context, he highlighted the commercial ports of Pipavav and Mundra. With the implementation of the port policy in 1995, the clear vision was to foster the development of port-driven industrial units in the future.
Speaking on industrial development, Chief Secretary Shri Rajkumar said that Gujarat has the distinction of having the longest coastline of 1600 km and 49 ports, the most active ports in the country. Gujarat stands out as a leader in marine activities, managing approximately 3% of the global economy.
In response to the anticipated growth in maritime traffic, Gujarat has initiated various projects and implemented several developmental schemes. The objective is to elevate the capacity of Gujarat’s ports to 2 trillion metric tons by the year 2047. Globally, port cities serve as economic powerhouses and transportation hubs. Gujarat is recognized for presenting the best urban model in India. The Gujarat Land Pooling Model, in existence for almost 100 years, has been continually adapted through amendments to the Town Planning and Urban Development Act. In Gujarat over the last few decades, it has addressed contemporary challenges in urban planning.
To ensure balanced participation economic, social, and environmental aspects are being considered. Aligned with the Prime Minister’s objectives, Gujarat is taking a progressive step by envisioning the creation of an international port city spanning an area of about 500 square kilometres. This initiative aims to increase port capacity to 250 to 500 million metric tons per annum.
Additional Chief Secretary, of Ports and Transport Mr M.K. Das stated, “Our economy has grown about 7.5 times in the last 21 years. There is no doubt that the way we are developing, I believe we will become a US$ 30 trillion economy by the year 2047. We have to expand the service area beyond India.”
The seminar was also attended by Mr. Rajkumar Beniwal, Vice Chairman and CEO at Gujarat Maritime Board, Shri S.S. Rathore, Advisor to the Chief Minister, Mr. Mihir Shah, Partner at EY, Chairman of Deendayal Port Authority Mr. S.K. Mehta, and CEO of APM Terminal Mr. Jonathan Goldner, participated in a panel discussion where various ideas were presented. During the seminar, the “Vision 2047” of Gujarat Maritime Board book was also released by the Chief Minister.