GANDHINAGAR: In a major boost to Gujarat's future maritime development, the Port of Rotterdam has agreed to a strategic tie-up with the Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) to lend its expertise in a slew of projects including planning for new ports and churning out skilled professionals in shipping and transport sectors.
Rotterdam will help GMB, the regulator of maritime activities in the state, in framing a detailed strategic plan report for future projects and skill development by working closely with the proposed International Maritime University.
Mr. Ajay Bhadoo, Vice-Chairman and CEO of GMB, said recently, "The Port of Rotterdam has agreed for a tie-up in two important areas. One in strategic planning for port development which includes the entire coastline. They will chalk out a detailed plan on building new ports, capacity addition and connectivity and advise us on the commodities and cargo we should focus on and even areas which we should not venture into. This gels very well with our new port policy that will be announced in few months."
Bhadoo said that another important area of partnership is maritime education.
The Netherlands-based Shipping and Transport College (STC) Group, an international maritime transport and logistics education provider, will provide their expertise in developing skilled professionals.
"They will be coordinating the entire course by designing the curriculum and enable distance learning through videos at the maritime university."
The detailed terms of reference (TOR) will be worked out soon to execute the strategic tie-up and sources said that the tie-up will be for two years.
The association with Port of Rotterdam is significant considering the recent global studies that have put India high on the pedestal of economic growth. A Lloyd's report 'Global Marine Trends 2030' points out that India will be one of the top three countries, growing three times the size of Japan in economic growth. It also says that India, China and Brazil will be the top five countries in terms of GDP growth by 2030.
A Central Government report on cargo projection also suggests that Gujarat's Non-Major Ports will handle 972 million tonnes by 2030 at the current growth pace.
"Taking a pessimistic view of these studies, we need a structured plan for augmenting our existing cargo-handling capacities and building new facilities. Port of Rotterdam is the most efficient port in the world with nearly 100 years of experience behind them that can be used for long-term planning," a senior GMB officer said.