Terming the year 2020 as the year of “Blue Economy”, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday lauded the efforts taken by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs for its policy to make the most out of the country’s oceans.
“I congratulate MaritimeGovPK for finalising a new and dynamic #BlueEconomy policy to revitalise our shipping sector, saving Pakistan valuable foreign exchange and creating more employment opportunities for our seafarers. We will ensure Pakistan fulfills its enormous maritime potential,” said PM Khan in a tweet on Monday.
The Blue Economy Policy was unveiled by Minister of Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi on August 8 where he laid out the ministry’s plans to revitalise the maritime sector.
“Under the impact of the new shipping policy, very soon we will see registration of three to four local shipping companies and it will also help job security of our seafarers,” he said at the launch.
He was flanked by Adviser to PM on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razzak Dawood.
“The target is to invite the private sector to shipping business and the state will protect them as it is being done globally. Till the year 2030, customs duty has been abolished for all ships to be registered in the country so that they become national flag carriers,” he added.
“The most important incentive for the Pakistani flag carriers would be the first berthing right, which is an international practice. It saves a lot of money for the ships if unloading is not delayed,” he said while explaining the policy.
He said the investors will also be allowed to avail Long-Term Financing Facility (LTFF) under the under new policy. “This will help the investors buy all floating vessels, including tug boats, dredger, cargo vessels and even the fishing boats, to obtain the long-term borrowing at three per cent from the banks,” Zaidi said.
“This will also help our fisheries sector that has the potential of more than $2 billion, but fish and seafood exports are currently limited to only $450m annually. This will eventually help us upgrade the fishing sector to deep-sea fishing sector.”