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Pakistan has great maritime potential

Pakistan’s is a growing power with great potential. Its Defense is impeccable and its economy is fast improving. Pakistan has emerged as an overnight success story with the advent of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Another reason for the country’s growing importance is its unwavering resolve against terrorism which has resulted in the expulsion nearing defeat of terrorist organizations like Tehreek- i-Taliban Pakistan. The armed forces of Pakistan have, through combined efforts, destroyed the command and control infrastructure of the terrorist faction. As a result terrorism has decreased significantly in Pakistan at a time when global terrorism has increased. This achievement enhances Pakistan’s global position significantly.
Apart from the military strength and the economic revival through CPEC, Pakistan has great maritime potential and the environment supports development in this regard:

* 68 M ton/annum of Pakistan seaborne trade to carry
* Assured Cargo of approx. 23 m ton per annum (POL & LNG). Transportation cost in P RS, saving of FE component
* Freight rates are improving (Tankers)
* Price of ships are still 45% lesser than 2008 prices. A rare and real opportunity.
* Expanding requirement of dredging
* Funding up to 80% available for purchase of vessels

Currently Pakistan has two operational ports which are not operating at their full capacity, highlighting the scope for greater opportunity. Furthermore, the third port of Gwaddar is being made ready which will enhance the scope of trade considerably. According to some experts, despite of having a long coastline and considerable economic dependence on sea, Pakistan has yet to evolve into a true maritime nation. However, with the development of the Gwadar Port, at the crown of the Arabian Sea, Pakistan faces a unique opportunity to claim its status as an important maritime power.
In order to claim this Pakistan needs to work on the following recommendations:

* 2001 Shipping Policy needs to be revised providing more incentives to investors and working addressing the irregularities in the policy
* Tanker and LNG ships are added to carry captive cargo of LNG and POL
* Modern dredgers to be added to augment current capacity
* Schools to Universities level conduct courses country wide in maritime discipline particularly shipping
* TV channels should dedicate airtime on regular basis for awareness and promotion of shipping industry in Pakistan

Pakistan is an important maritime state in the Indian Ocean blessed with approximately 1,050 km long coastline and the Exclusive Economic Zone covering about 240,000 sq. km with an extended continental shelf of 50000 sq. km. The maritime sector acts as the foundation of the national economy. In order to benefit from it, there is a need for an integrated National Maritime Policy. Pakistan can achieve significant growth by developing effective national compliance mechanism and stimulating renewal of potential maritime sectors through regional and international collaboration.

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