Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the maritime sector is both financially and techno intensive and needed significant capital for building, operating, and making it economically profitable.
He said this while speaking at the 3rd Steering Committee Meeting of the Pakistan International Maritime Exhibition and Conference (PIMEC) 2023 here at the CM House. The conference was attended by provincial Ministers, Syed Sardar Shah, Jam Ikram, Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho, Sharjeel Memon, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (operation Rear Admiral Muhammad Faisal Abbasi, COMCOAST Rear Admiral Raja Rab Nawaz, COMKAR Rear Admiral Mian Zakir Ullah Jan, provincial secretaries, IG Police Ghulam Nabi Memon, senior officers of Pak Navy and provincial bureaucracy.
The term Blue Economy relates to traditional ocean-related economic activities such as fisheries, tourism, and maritime transport as well as new emerging opportunities like off-shore renewable energy, aquaculture, and sea-bed extraction activities. It further aims at developing sea-bed natural resources for sustainable use as well as socio-economic uplift.
Mr. Shah said that the maritime sector was both financially and techno intensive and needed significant capital for building, operating, and making it economically profitable. “Once that investment has been made and setup is in place, it also requires highly skilled manpower, which regretfully we just do not have in sufficient numbers at this point in time,” he said and added it would not be out of context to say that Pakistan was suffering from “sea blindness” and that’s why the motto of PIMEC has been very aptly kept as ‘Sea the Future’.
Murad Ali Shah said that PIMEC should provide a foundation to bring together stakeholders from diverse maritime industries such as Aquaculture was just like farming in water and it was an environmentally responsible source of food and commercial products. He added that a large chunk of the coastal population was associated with fisheries; however, this sector has a lot of export potential yet to be exploited.
Mr. Shah said that Pakistani fishing boats lacked modern equipment and techniques for fishing and storage. “PIMEC can be a platform for boat construction and associated industries to modernize fishing boats,” he said.—NNI