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India Aims to Invest $100 Billion in Ports, Shipping

Date: 25/01/2011

MUMBAI – India aims to invest 4.52 trillion rupees ($100 billion) by 2020 to build new ports and develop its shipping industry in a bid to boost trade, Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan said. 

The investment will likely more than triple India's annual port handling capacity to 3.2 billion tons, Mr. Vasan said in a statement late Thursday while unveiling the "Maritime Agenda 2010-2020" plan. That capacity will be higher than the estimated 2.5 billion tons annual cargo traffic by 2020, he said. 

The investment is also likely to increase India's share in the global shipbuilding industry to 5% from 1% and raise Indian companies' share in the global cargo tonnage to at least 9% from 6%-7%, Mr. Vasan said. 

Improving maritime infrastructure in India will boost its trade, which is largely carried out by sea. In the fiscal year through March, India aims to export merchandise worth $200 billion while imports are likely to be about $320 billion. 

"We want to bring our ports on a par with the best international ports in terms of performance and capacity," Mr. Vasan said. 

The government plans to set up two ports on the east and west coasts of the country, he said, but didn't specify how much will be invested in the ports or where will they be located.

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