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Indian maritime meet in London

Our Bureau

CHENNAI, March 26

TO give a fillip to domestic shipping and also market the industry abroad, the Indian Maritime Association (IMA), the Indian National Shipowners Association (INSA) and the Ministry of Shipping are jointly supporting the first ``Indian shipping: Opportuni ties and issues in the new millennium'' conference to be held in London on May 28 and 29.

The aim of the conference would be to promote the Indian maritime sector and provide a forum where the domestic and international shipping communities can discuss key issues.

The conference would deal on issues ranging from policy, privatisation and liberalisation, infrastructure, foreign investor perspective on India, world trade and economic factors, bulk, liner and LNG shipping, offshore industry, finance, shipbuilding, po rts -- private and public, and manning and training, sources said.

The conference will also provide an insight into the socio-economic, geo-political, policy and industry issues that will impact on the Indian sub-continent, as well as the shipping industry as a whole.

It will also attempt to assess whether domestic shipping can achieve an explosive growth and how realistically India, as a region, is on target to reach its stated economic goals, according to said.

While, maritime countries such as Japan, South Korea and China in the last 30 years have accelerated their shipping growth, India still continues to be in the bottom of the maritime chart, sources said.

As on December 1, 2000, the total Indian shipping tonnage in operation was 6.932 million gross registered tonnes (GRT), comprising 547 ships compared to the total tonnage of 6.960 million GRT on November 1, 2000, comprising 549 ships.

Chartering wing=made shipping arrangements cover a quantity of 26.51 lakh tonnes of cargo in bulk (dry and liquid) on 40 vessels comprising domestic and foreign. In addition, two tankers were chartered on time charter basis for coastal movement.

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