World Maritime Day is celebrated each year to signify the contributions of International Maritime Industry in World’s economy and to focus attention on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and marine environment. IMO has adopted “Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a Better Future” as theme for this year.
In today’s globalized world, maritime trade plays a pivotal role as it supports, transforms and connects societies worldwide. Scope and scale of maritime trade which accounts for around 80% of global trade by volume and 70% by value is testimony to the same.
The prosperity of many countries is closely related to the seaborne trade. The dependence on the free passage of goods through oceans holds the key for trade oriented economic structure. The economic opportunity for international trade, much of which is transported via the maritime mode has given a new emphasis to interconnectivity of oceans resulting in emergence of concepts of global commons and trade liberalization over the past few decades. Consequently, maritime trade through the oceans has increased and shipping industry has become pivotal to sustain these global demands.
For Pakistan, maritime trade is the back bone of our economy as over 95% of our international trade is transported through seas. With the renewed impetus of maritime sector through CPEC and Gwadar Port, the maritime trade of Pakistan will increase manifold as the corridor is destined to provide regional connectivity. Pakistan’s current shipping fleet carries about 16% of our total seaborne trade while the remaining requirements are met through international shipping. While we realize the significance of maritime trade for our country, our reliance on international shipping and huge spending of foreign exchange on freight charges is indicative of dire need to reinvigorate our shipping industry.
Pakistan Navy is cognizant of the needs of futuristic growth of maritime sector in Pakistan and is leading the way in raising maritime awareness; which is a fundamental imperative. This is being pursued through a vigorous Maritime Awareness Campaign Plan which includes engagements with all stakeholders to enhance their knowledge about potentials of blue economy of Pakistan. The interactions are backed by research based pragmatic solutions that can help foster our maritime industries.
Pakistan Navy, on this important day pledges its full support towards development of maritime sector in general and shipping sector in particular. We believe it will be a step towards attaining self sufficiency, sustainable economic growth and will facilitate international trade. I look forward to profound and cumulative support from all stakeholders to achieve sustainable development in blue economy.