DP World Cochin terminal launched - 12 February 2011
COCHIN - India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday commissioned the country’s first International Container Transshipment Terminal at Vallarpadam in Kerala’s commercial hub, giving a competitive edge to the Indian trade.
UAE Foreign Trade Minister Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, State Governor RS Gavai, Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan, all federal ministers from the state were also present.
Speaking on the occasion, he said that the terminal built and operated by DP World, Dubai was an enduring symbol of the close ties India wish to build with its extended neighbours in West Asia, particularly the United Arab Emirates.
Manmohan Singh, Shaikha Lubna and Shaikh Ahmed at the launch ceremony in Cochin. — PTI
“This flagship project symbolises the keen interest of the United Arab Emirates in investing in India and in promoting stronger business and people-to-people relationship between our two countries. Kerala with its huge diaspora of skilled and enterprising workers, engineers, doctors and other professionals is ideally suited to become the gateway for these investments”, Singh said.
The absence of a global hub port and the lack of transshipment facilities had put the country’s trade at a disadvantage. About 60 per cent of India’s export and import containers are trans-shipped through ports like Singapore and Colombo. This involves an additional expenditure of $300 per container and an extra 7-10 days of transit time.
With the commissioning of the terminal, exporters can now access mainline container vessels calling at Cochin, which is strategically located on the East West trade route only 11 nautical miles away from direct sea route to Australia and the Far East from Europe.
No other Indian Ports enjoys this closeness to the maritime highway than Cochin Port. The first phase of the terminal, built at a cost of Rs32 billion, has a capacity to accommodate large size container vessels of 8000 TEU and above.
The Prime Minister said that the construction of the terminal was the centrepiece of a comprehensive plan to develop Cochin as an economic and logistical hub of the region.
It has put Cochin on the way to becoming an important and attractive investment destination not only in Kerala but for our region as a whole.
“I visualise in the future, the emergence of several port based services industries in its proximity. I also visualise the emergence of processing centers that will take advantage of the reliable and economical logistics to be provided by this terminal”, Singh added.
DP World Cochin Terminal will change the face of not only Cochin but also Kerala in the coming years.
TK Devasia - Khaleej Times Online - 12 February 2011