The Port of Rotterdam is eyeing investment opportunities in India,especially the Sagarmala Programme, in a bid to develop the performance of its logistics sector.
“The capacity of Indian ports needs to improve and that is also recognised by the Government of India. We see a lot of potential in the Indian market and we have assigned two Rotterdam representatives in India.”~Marc Aartsen, Program Manager International Port Projects, Port of Rotterdam
The Rotterdam port, which is a gateway to Europe, has its overseas representatives in India, China, Indonesia, Russia and few places in Europe.
In October 2019, the port of Rotterdam Authority to intensify joint activities in India and to involve more in consultancy assignments, selling of digital products, attracting investments and promoting maritime trade flows between India and Europe via Rotterdam signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MoU),with the Maharashtra Maritime Board and the state government of Kerala.
The Port of Rotterdam International also participates as a shareholder in two overseas port projects in Sohar, Oman in a 50/50 venture between Rotterdam port and Oman government, and the Brazilian port of Pecem since December 2018.
The efforts of the current Indian governments and the opportunities that lie in investing in the new and existing ports due to the Sagarmala project have revived the interests of the Port of Rotterdam Authority to invest in India.
“We are certainly interested in looking into interesting investment projects,” Aartsen said, without giving any specific investment targets. The current situation arrived by the COVID-19 pandemic have no impact on the company’s plan to invest in India as investing in ports is a long-term investment.
While explaining the same Arsten said, “We always see these kind of developments in the long-term so we are not very much scared off by economic setback for the short term as these decision making are going to invest somewhere take a long time especially if you are talking about greenfield locations.”
The Sagarmala programme, which is the flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping ,promotes port-led development in the country through harnessing India’s 7,500 km long coastline, 14500 km of potentially navigable waterways and strategic location on key international maritime trade route. It seeks to reduce logistics cost for export-import (EXIM) and domestic trade with minimal infrastructure investment.