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India Port Infrastructure Market: Opportunity Amidst the Global Slowdown

Saudi Aramco, one of the biggest hydrocarbon players in the world, has held exploratory talks with the West Bengal government to build a petrochemical downstream complex in the state. The talks held thus far have been heavily linked to the successful completion of the Tajpur deep sea port, which is expected to be finished by 2021.

Once again, these talks highlight the critical role India port infrastructure market is said to play if India wishes to truly become a global export giant. TechSci got together with some experts who spoke on the most salient aspects of the India port infrastructure market. Here are the most striking points:

 

Sagarmala Project: A Cornerstone of India Port Infrastructure Market

 TechSci Research report “India Port Infrastructure Market, Forecast & Opportunities, 2025” predicts that the India port infrastructure market will witness nearly double-digit growth primarily due to rising investments by private players and relaxation of government policies pertaining to port development.

The development of Tajpur project slips comfortably into this role, with its role as a leading light in the Sagarmala project, the ambitious $120 billion initiative that aims to make India a global trade hub through the development of several Coastal Economic Zones (CEZs) and sea ports.

TechSci Research report hails this move as being beneficial to the India port infrastructure market in the long term. Presently, Indian ports handle over 90% of India’s EXIM trade volume. Given that the current proportion of merchandize trade in GDP of India is only 42%, compared with economies such as Germany (75%) and EU (70%), such moves are extremely significant.

In addition to construction of ports, like in Tajpur, port-modernisation, creation of refining clusters, connectivity enhancement projects, coastal community development are also being done under the Sagarmala project, which will hugely boost India port infrastructure market size in the future.

TechSci Research has previously released an article “Adani Ports gets rating upgrade, with better outlook” which covers the Sagarmala project vis a vis India port infrastructure market in better detail.

 

Global Shipping Trade: Through the Lens of India Port Infrastructure Market

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 2016 report has cited the global slowdown as a chief antagonist behind global and seaborne trade. Growth in seaborne trade hovered around 2.1%, historically low levels. Moreover, the 20 leading ports by volume experienced an 85% decline in growth, from 6.3% in 2014 to 0.9% in 2015.

However, rather than being disheartened by the data, India port infrastructure market players must view this as an opportunity. There is a global vacuum being created in seaborne trade, which, if India can play its cards right, can end up impacting India in a positive fashion in the medium to long term.

The UNCTAD report has cited India and Sri Lanka as pivotal hubs in the South Asian seaborne commerce sector. To further cement its place as a global and regional hub, India port infrastructure market players and the government must start preparations in all earnest.

However, to end with a not of caution, India port infrastructure market will have to seriously start pulling its weight if it has to become a global seaborne commerce hub. While there are several signs that India port infrastructure market has made a good start, a lot more needs to be done.

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