Peel Ports, the UK’s second-biggest port operator, has entered into a formal information sharing agreement with India’s largest container terminal, the first such association between the two countries.
In a ‘letter of intent’, signed by Peel Ports’ Chief Executive Mark Whitworth and Shri Neeraj Bansal Chairman In Charge of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust Port (JNPT), the two organisations commit to the exchange of information and expertise on port operations, port management and hinterland connections. They will also develop a series of modules in education and training of port operators, IT systems, traffic and trade between Liverpool and Mumbai.
Mark Whitworth said:
“The UK and India are natural partners to collaborate and learn from one another. We are facing many similar challenges in supply chain distribution and connectivity. At Peel Ports, we are realising our own ambitious plans in the creation of Liverpool2, a £300m container terminal that will allow some of the world’s largest vessels to call closer to the heart of the UK marketplace. We look forward to working in partnership with JNPT to assist exporters and importers to get their goods closer to market, while reducing costs, carbon and congestion.”
JNPT currently operates three container terminals, two of which are operated by private companies and a fourth is under construction. The quay wall has already been extended and planning is underway on a major new logistics facility to complement the existing supply chain support available close to the port.
Chairman Shri Neeraj Bansal added:
“JNPT, being the premier container port of India, carries additional responsibility to bring in more efficiency and economy to the exim trade. This new initiative of entering into mutual collaboration with international ports is a path breaking initiative of Ministry of Shipping to create more synergy with the international port community.”
Measured by Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the UK is already the biggest G20 ‘maker’ in India. Last year the UK invested $3.2 billion in India accounting for almost 10% of all FDI flows into India, more than the second and third largest G20 investors into India combined. Likewise, Indian companies are amongst the biggest investors in the UK. The innovations developed through these collaborations have hugely benefited both countries.
In 2014, 1.8 million tonnes of goods worth £3.9 billion were exported from the UK to India, with imports of 6.5 million tonnes to a value of £3.3 billion. Container shipping plays a major and increasing role in this trade, especially with initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ introduced by the Government of India, to encourage in-country manufacturing.
The signing was also witnessed by Shri Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, who said:
“We recognise the importance of the historical bilateral interchange between our two countries as major industrial and commercial partners. There is immense strategic and economic value in our mutual collaboration to propel economic growth in each of our countries. This strategic alliance between these two major ports will drive more efficient movement of goods and will build on our common objective of establishing optimal port performance.”
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