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02 Dec 2017
India re-elected to IMO council
Credit : TSO Bureau

"India has won huge by bagging second largest number of votes enabling it to re-enter the council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for the next two years. India secured 144 votes from the member countries while Germany bagged 146. The council of IMO plays a crucial role in global shipping industry and in determining its working mechanism and setting budget. ""India enters the IMO Council under category B having won 144 votes, the second highest in the category. A proud moment for the country,"" Indian High Commissioner to the U.K., Y. K. Sinha, who represented the nation at the assembly, had tweeted right after the results were out. The diplomat threw light on the diligence put forth for accomplishing such a big win. Sinha said efforts led by him and country's missions abroad aided in overcoming the reluctance of large number of nations who supported India in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) elections and were initially inclined to give support to others in the IMO elections. ""Personal intervention with Heads of Delegations in last two days paid rich dividends,"" the diplomat added. Sinha also mentioned that Union Minister Nitin Gadkari's presence at the IMO Assembly meeting earlier in the week also helped in the same. In his address to the IMO in London earlier this week, Gadkari said India was putting forward its candidature for a re-election to the IMO to represent developing countries and those with the largest interests in international sea borne trade. Gadkari also took to Twitter to express the happiness over win. ""Elated to share that India's campaign at highest level has ensured the seat at Category-B (States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade) of @IMOHQ council by securing 144 votes, 2nd after Germany(146). A proud moment for the country !,"" he tweeted. The other countries to make the cut included France (140), Canada (138), Spain (137), Brazil (131), Sweden (129), The Netherlands (124) and the UAE (115). Earlier, Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Shipping, while presenting India's candidature at the International Maritime Organization in London stated: India’s ancient trade and cultural ties with Mesopotamia, Mediterranean rim countries; South East Asia, China, Middle East and Africa are testimonial to our rich maritime heritage. India has a large coastline of 7500 Kms., inland waterways of 20,000 Kms., over 200 major and minor ports and increasing ship building, ship repair and ship recycling facilities. India is also strategically located in the corridor through which substantial part of the east-west seaborne traffic flows.India has about one thousand four hundred vessels with Gross Tonnage of about 12.2 million. In addition, India has a large number of inland and near-coastal vessels. Nearly 90% of India’s overseas trade by volume is carried through ships of which 92% is carried by foreign flag vessels. With the Indian economy poised to grow faster, our Government is alive to the possibility of a quantum jump in the maritime activities on the Indian Coasts. We are upgrading our infrastructure and reforming the regulatory framework for ease of doing business. SAGARMALA, our flagship programme launched in 2015 for port led development, has four limbs, namely, port modernization and new port development; port connectivity; port led industrialization; and port community development. Under this programme, 6 new major ports, 150 projects to modernize existing ports including construction of new berths, and 130 projects in rail & road sectors for last mile connectivity have been identified requiring investment of $100 BILLION by 2025, of which, about 40 BILLION dollars already stands spent. 111 inland waterways fit for river navigation have been identified, of which 32 will be developed in the first phase at an estimated investment of $800 million. These projects provide major investment opportunities for the International Community. "
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