India and Japan to Strengthen Their Cooperation in Shipping Sector

India and Japan want to strengthen their cooperation in the shipping sector. In this connection, a delegation under the leadership of Union Minister of Shipping Shri G.K. Vasan, is visiting Japan from today till the 12th of November on an invitation from Mr. Akihiro Ohta, the Hon’ble Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Government of Japan.

The visiting delegation will have discussions with the Japanese Government aimed at better coordination between two countries and further enabling of various Japanese companies to utilize facilities at Indian ports, more particular of Ennore and Chennai Ports. Shri Vasan will also lead discussions for obtaining funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the Outer Harbour project of VOC Port, Thuthikoodi.

The Government of Japan had earlier shown interest in developing Chennai Bengaluru Industrial Corridor as part of Penninsular Region Industrial Development corridor (PRIDe) of India. Ennore Port has been identified as one of the main logistic hubs in this industrial corridor development. JICA has already commenced a study for the purpose.

The visiting Indian delegation is membered by Secretary (Shipping) Shri Vishwapati Trivedi, CMD of Ennore Port Ltd., Shri M.A. Bhaskarachar, and other officials of the Shipping Ministry. The delegation besides meeting the political leaders, government officials and business leaders during their visit, would be visiting the Port of Yokohama and Port of Nagoya to see the port operations and the latest technologies being utilized in these two ports. Expertise of the Japanese in port operations, ship recycling and shipbuilding are expected to be utilized by the Indian ports and shipyards in the future.

Japanese automobile manufacturing companies like Toyota, Mitsubushi, Isuzu, Nissan and Toshiba have been using Chennai Port for importing automobile components through containers for their factories located in Chennai. The Japanese Company M/s Metal One (Mitshubishi group) is importing steel coils used for automobile industry through Chennai Port in the break bulk form. Around 240 Japanese companies have developed businesses in and around Chennai in the last decade.

Various Japanese Companies have also been evincing a lot of interest in enhancing their use of the Ennore Port. At present, Nissan Motors India and Toyota are the major Japanese companies using the Ennore Port facilities for their export. M/s Nissan Motors has exported about 3 lakhs cars from Ennore Port. Toyota has so far exported 42,000 cars from the Port.

KSP, November 7, 2013

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