India supports UAE’s maritime initiatives

The UAE and India have opened up a new vista for bilateral cooperation in the maritime industry.

Dr. Sanjeev Ranjan, India’s Secretary for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, said India favours the adoption of a maritime single window system proposed by the UAE in digitising all ships certifications and commercial documents required under the Conventions of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

“India supports the UAE’s proposal to include the element of digitisation in the next Strategic Plan of the IMO as a part of the digitisation initiative since it will help in resolving the regulatory bottlenecks faced in the maritime industry. Time-bound action plans for digitisation should be part of the IMO strategic directions,” he said.

The IMO is currently preparing its Strategic Plan for the six-year period 2024 to 2029, which will be adopted at the 175-nation global organisation’s 33rd Assembly to be held in December next year. Exchanges between the UAE and India, including support for the UAE’s digitisation and single window initiatives are in the context of preparing the new Strategic Plan.

“India appreciates the proposal of the UAE on a capacity-building decade strategy, including the concept of no one should be left behind,” according to the Indian Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways. “India considers this aspect as crucial for the effective usage of financial and technical resources available with the IMO through its Technical Cooperation Committee’s work to assist developing states.”

Both the UAE and India are maritime nations and seafaring plays a crucial role in both their economies. Therefore, India believes that “cooperation between all relevant stakeholders, from shipping, ports and logistics, will be vital to drive the digitalisation of shipping, enhance its efficiency and sustainability, and therefore facilitating trade and fostering economic prosperity.”

Meanwhile, the IMO said in a press release that the 128th session of its Council last month “initiated the development of the Strategic Plan for the six-year period 2024 to 2029,” which is at the root of ongoing engagement between the UAE and India in this regard. “A work plan was agreed to further develop the Strategic Plan, including an inter-sessional working group,” the IMO press release said.

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