India eyes liberalisation of coastal trade


Source: Deendayal Port Authority

The Indian government is planning to announce the removal of remaining cabotage laws, opening up coastal trade between the country’s ports to foreign owned and flagged vessels. 

The strategy will remove remaining cabotage restrictions for coal, fertilisers, and other bulk goods such as iron ore, according to local media reports. The Motorship notes that is expected to offer significant opportunities for preferential cargo owners in the dry bulk markets to optimise seaborne transportation costs for exports to Indian customers, particularly if the strategy is accompanied by grants or subsidised loans to expand and modernise terminal infrastructure.   

However, the decision by the Indian government to encourage the growth of coastal trade by encouraging greater foreign competition is not just being driven by a desire to lower logistics costs for export-oriented Indian manufacturers. 

The governments of the US, India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, as well as individual EU member states and the EU itself signed a memorandum of understanding on the sidelines of the G20 summit on 9 September to develop an India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC). 

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