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Maritime expert calls for India-Indonesia shipping chamber

Press Trust of India  |  Singapore 

and should set up a shipping chamber to promote shipping cooperation between the two countries as a part of the initiative to establish connectivity in the Indian Ocean, a maritime expert said on Friday.

As a business-to-business entity, the chamber could be a sub-unit of exiting trade and industry chamber of the two countries or a separate one, Siswanto Rusdi, founder and of Indonesia's National Maritime Institute, said on Friday.

"It is good to start a shipping chamber as soon as possible," he said, calling for a couple of conferences as a prelude for its establishment.

Rusdi was part of a panel which discussed and in the Indo-Pacific in on Tuesday.

Giving details, Rusdi said on Friday: The most important outcomes (of the conferences) would be the scope of shipping cooperation between and

With direct maritime/shipping connectivity, Indonesia and India can benefit each other, said Rusdi, pointing out that the world's bulker pool now is full of China's vessels and shipping companies.

Our countries must do something to balance it, he told

Rusdi also pointed out that the will order all coal exports to be transported by Indonesia-flagged vessels by 2020. India is the largest importer of Indonesian coal.

But our shipping capacity is very limited. India and Indonesia can cooperate on this aspect, let say, to procure bigger bulkers to ply the trade, he said.

As a startup to the shipping chamber, may be embassies of the two countries could set up a to facilitate whatever the shipping players from India and Indonesia may initiate.

He also commented on some on India's interest in on the tip of Sumatra.

In the old time, Sabang was a free port with significant trading activities. India and Indonesia can revive it to the initial position. Operations at the port are moderate these days.

Since the port is actually a commercial unit under state-owned company Pelindo I, a b2b approach is required, believes Rusdi.

As far as I know, there is no, as yet, Indian business entity coming in to negotiate, he said of Indian participation in Sabang development.

Noting the importance of deep-water ports to India, he said, Naturally, Sabang is a deep-water port. You need not to dredge it to have sufficient draught for big vessels.

So far, the economic activity in Sabang is still moderate, according to Rusdi. What we need is not only physical construction but more on the intangible one. We need industry to be set up in Sabang, he said.

He also underlined the significance of small-coastal vessel operations between Sabang and

The panel discussion was jointly organised by two think tanks at the the and the

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 12 2019. 16:51 IST