Mr. Arun Kumar Gupta, Managing Director, India Ports Global Private Limited (IPGPL)

“India Ports Global limited has been assigned the task of equipping and operation of the Container / Multipurpose Terminals at Chabahar Port in Iran and both Iranian & Indian side are effectively engaged and working in tandem on the vital project,” said Mr. Arun Kumar Gupta, Managing Director, India Ports Global Private Limited (IPGPL). In a candid interview with Maritime Weekly, he gave a positive nod towards the growth of Indian maritime sector while discussing about industry trends and also pins his hopes on INSTC.

With your illustrious leadership experience of almost 4 decades, how do you see the Indian maritime sector evolving, and what are the trends that you see going forward?

India is the sixteenth largest maritime country in the world, with a coastline of about 7,517 kms. I see a bright future for the Indian maritime sector ahead with the Government giving a focused approach to promote this sector. “Sagarmala” initiative for port lead development and connectivity to hinterland will surely bear fruits. Maritime clusters & CEZ will bolster Indian maritime sector’s growth. Obsolete laws and acts are being revamped to make them relevant to the current era’s demand. Facilitative regime is now focusing on “ease of doing business”. It is heartening to see the efforts being put in to develop the Inland waterways in real sense to promote water transport. Overall the trends are encouraging which demonstrate the commitment of the Government.

What are the developments of Chabahar Port of Iran, developed by India Ports Global Private Limited (IPGPL)? Given its geopolitical significance, do you see the Iranian side supporting the project with the same sense of importance and urgency, given that China’s marching ahead in developing the Gwadar Port & SEZ?

India Ports Global limited has been assigned the task of equipping and operation of the Container / Multipurpose Terminals at Chabahar Port in Iran. Subsequent to the Contract signing on 23rd May, 2016, both Iranian & Indian side are effectively engaged and working in tandem on the vital project.

What is your thought on the changing global trade dynamics and the position of the international North South Transport Corridor (INSTC), another initiative that India is pursuing?

INSTC can surely change the dynamics of world trade and its success is very crucial to India. The INSTC route via Iran, to Russia and CIS destinations, could be the best route with optimal transit/cost for the Indian exporters/importers. There have been certain difficulties, external as well as internal, which the authorities are trying to address.Strong institutional mechanism is needed to deal with the operational issues like lack of a common border crossing rules & other issues related to customs.

As IPGPL was created for development of ports overseas, what are the other projects the organization is doing currently other than Chabahar and what are the future plans?

Presently Chabahar is our primary focus. Some other projects in the neighbouring countries are also being examined. Further, IPGL is already assisting IWAI for development of Kaladan River Multimodal Transit Transport Project in Myanmar.

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