Asif calls for exploiting blue economy, integrating public-private partnership in maritime industry
Zubair Qureshi Islamabad
Pakistan has huge maritime potential that can contribute enormously to the country’s national economy, particularly blue economy, green energy and food security.
Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif expressed these views while addressing as Chief Guest the soft launch of the premier edition of Pakistan International Maritime Expo & Conference (PIMEC) on Tuesday at Marriott Hotel. The three-day event is scheduled to be held at Karachi Expo Centre on 10-12 February, 2023.
The Defence Minister said besides the above three sectors, development of efficient ship-breaking industry, trans-shipment ports, fisheries industry, coastal tourism, water sports and aqua culture are few of the areas which deserve special focus.
Minister for Maritime Affairs Faisal Subzwari, Minister for Defence Productions Muhammad Israr Tareen, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi, CEO of Badar Expo Solution the Co-Organizer of the event Zohair Naseer, diplomats, Defence Attaches, senior military and civil officers and academia attended the event.
In his address, the chief guest emphasized integration of public-private partnership amongst maritime industry to achieve optimum results. Khawaja Asif was of the view that the potential of academic and R&D organizations must be incorporated for enhancing efficiency and productivity of the maritime sector.
He assured the government would continue to create a business and investment-friendly environment. He hoped that avenues generated through PIMEC would grow and bring Pakistan closer to the cherished goals of realizing regional peace and shared prosperity through collaborative efforts.
The Defence Minister appreciated the Pakistan Navy for taking the initiative to exhibit the potential of Pakistan’s Maritime Sector through PIMEC.
He highlighted that oceans bring the nations closer and therefore the need to make them a safer place through collaborative efforts of all stakeholders. Pakistan as a responsible state is committed to play its role for international peace, stability and order.
Faisal Subzwari also welcomed the initiative and agreed that the country’s maritime potential was not truly realized. “As a Karachite I often wonder why we are behind other countries in coastal tourism and have so far not exploited the blue economy,” he said.
The naval chief while welcoming the guests highlighted the significance of the event saying it was going to be the flagship event of Pakistan. It is planned to hold PIMEC biennially for demonstrating the latest technology of the national and international maritime industry. Pakistan he said is blessed with more than 1,000 km long coastal area which offers huge opportunities. Of late, said the naval chief, there have been efforts to capitalize on the maritime potential and diversity of the blue economy. The expo coincides with the 9th edition of the multinational naval exercise Aman 2023 contributing to shared knowledge and b-to-b relations.
The exhibition will serve as one of the international gatherings of entrepreneurs, R&D specialists, financial experts and top level policy makers to boost cooperation, share knowledge and support ventures in the maritime field, he said.
Earlier, CEO of Badar Expo Solution and co-organizer of the event Zohair Naseer, in his welcome address briefed the guests about the event. It was, he said, a proud moment for Badar Expo solutions to be collaborating with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Pakistan Navy for the premiere edition of PIMEC. He said the exhibition would highlight the potential of the maritime sector in Pakistan and help in capitalizing the benefits of the blue economy.