3rd logistics shipping conference: Gwadar Port to operate within five months: FM

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Ports & Shipping, Senator Kamran Michael, has said that Gwadar Port will be made fully functional in next five months. Almost 60 per cent of development work on roads has been completed. This port will connect gulf region and middle east to Southeast Asia. It is vital for national growth and in securing economy of Pakistan.

The federal minister informed that government is striving to extend trade avenues and boosting business in the country. “We are going to buy four oil tankers for our fleet after which will be able to extend fleet of Pakistan National Shipping Corporation PNSC up to 15 by the end of this year,” he told.

The minister was speaking as chief guest at the inaugural session of 3rd International Conference & Exhibition on Shipping, Logistics & Supply Chain Management 2013. Event was organized by the Publicity Channel in collaboration with Ministry of Ports & Shipping, Pakistan International Freight Forwarding Association, Pakistan Shipping Agents Association and Air Cargo Agents Association.

Kamran Michael told that ship breaking industry is being moved to Port Qasim for which 170 acres of land is earmarked and development work is carried on. About 3000 industries are being moved to Port Qasim. An uninterrupted electric supply will be ensured there for which 500 megawatt electricity will be produced through coal plant. British government will also help in producing another 600 megawatt with solid waste at Karachi Port, he added.

The federal minister said that IT database system is being installed and will be made functional within next month at all ports. This will help to track containers movement throughout and status of custom duty be also monitored.

Responding to questions of journalists about letter of Sindh Government to port authorities in regard to possession of government land, Kamran Michael said that they have not taken any illegal possession of Sindh Government land and in most of cases they have possession of their own land. “Future of ports and shipping industry is very bright. We are trying our best to curb corruption in my ministry. We have identified more than 3000 ghost employees in Karachi Port Trust after which we have installed biometric attendance machine to ensure transparency. We should all work together for the promotion of economy, he added.

Earlier in his welcome address CEO Publicity Channel Naeem Qureshi said that this event was aimed to share the latest information about developments and technical advancement in the sector all over the world, particularly in Pakistan. It will promote shipping & logistic industry through joint ventures, public private partnership, technology, investment and networking, he added.

Giving introduction about the event, conference director Mehmood Tareen said that logistic industry is critical for business enhancement but its needs are overlooked.

Managing Director, Transfreight and Senior Vice President FIATA Babar Badat said that 95 percent of logistics is being done in containers through shipping globally. Ministry of transport and logistics is much needed in Pakistan. It shouldn’t only be a ministry of shipping and ports. Now logistic is needed from its start point to consumers. Almost 4550 percent trade of many countries is regional as part of their GDP, whereas our GDP trade is only 5 percent.

Talking on the topic of interregional trade potential of Pakistan, Chief Executive Officer, Agility Logistics, and Moin A. Malik said that regional trade is very important in today’s world. Almost 44 million containers move in Asia between different ports and its biggest volume is 4.5 million between Europe to Asia.

This industry is growing at fast pace. It was four billion worth trade a decade before which is increased by 86 billion in 2011. Almost 22 times growth is noticed within Asia alone. China global trade is estimated at 2.38 trillion dollars by 2012 and Central Asian trade was 104 billion dollars in 2012, he mentioned.

Pakistan is on a very important and strategic geographical location. We have potential through highways. Our current logistic trade is 0.3 percent of GDP which will be 2.3 percent in coming five years and this could be a game changer, Moin Malik suggested and urged to address issues including improve logistic infrastructure, security, curbing corruption, difficult custom procedures and government policies.

He requested federal minister to take notice of zero performance of National Trade Corridor five years program as not a single target is achieved. Poor infrastructure, non-existed railway system, technology, legislation, regulatory mechanism, people and trainings are great impediments to the growth of this sector, he observed.

“We have generated 20million rupees fund to initiate formal training program to develop human resource. We will generate another 30 million rupees in coming months. Government should support this initiative and provide land for this program,” Moin Malik requested to federal minister.

Chairman Pakistan National Shipping Corporation PNSC Muhammad Siddique Memon said that shipping has most important role in logistics and now it’s growing. PNSC is now in business of oil and bulk carrier and now planning to add more tankers in its fleet. We are a profit earning organization now and have earned 1.9 million profits last year, he added.

Senator Abdul Haseeb khan in his address demanded federal minister to dissolve all boards of public enterprises and induct people of good repute in new boards including PIA, Pakistan Steel, KPT, Port Qasim, WAPDA etc., as they all are a great hurdle itself in progress of these organizations. He also requested Prime Minister to take notice of this situation.

CEO Coastal and Trade Analyst Ateeq Ur Rehman, President SCAP Muhammad Qaisar Alam, CEO e2e Supply Chain Management Abid Butt, Executive Director NLC Brigadier Salawat Khan, Chairman PSAA & Managing Director GSA Mohammad Rajpar, Chairman Sindh Board of Investment Zubair Motiwala also spoke on the occasion.

This event was sponsored by Alhaj Faw Motors, Future Impex, Mitsubishi Corporation, National Bank Of Pakistan, Islamic Banking Group, Infrastructure Project Development Facility, DHL Express, Agility Logistics and OOCL Logistics, Japan External Trade Organization JETRO, Korean Trade Investment Promotion Agency KOTRA.